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EDITORIAL: Why we will not capitalise on appalling tragedies

In the wake of the Nepal earthquake and the execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, many media outlets have been quick to jump on bandwagons and produce generic, incendiary headlines as they cynically navigate a sea of filth. It has been argued that it is impossible to conjure lucid, thoughtful opinion at the behest of…

In the wake of the Nepal earthquake and the execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, many media outlets have been quick to jump on bandwagons and produce generic, incendiary headlines as they cynically navigate a sea of filth.

It has been argued that it is impossible to conjure lucid, thoughtful opinion at the behest of a vicious news cycle. Looking at the front pages that emerge tomorrow will probably be a grim affair.  For the reams of opinion content that will be generated are not just talking points, they are agenda setters. The perfectly worded, incredibly hastily hammered out content that we produce in the coming days will literally change the way we have important conversations. It will inform people. It may inform policy. That is a power we carefully wield.

People are suffering enormously right now, and it is our responsibility, not to eschew sensitivity and tact, but to ignore them. Ignore them in favour of giving people like you – hopefully far-removed from the tragedy – something to do between starting up in the morning and their first cup of coffee. Something to keep you going. It is a tremendous responsibility.

What can you rely on, if not our stories?

The academic opinion is that this compulsion to produce content only adds fuel to the fire. While this is a reasonable criticism of much of the mainstream commentary on the matter, what a lot of people fail to realise is that this commentary, our commentary, wields a privileged insight. Take comfort in the fact that The Garter recognises and criticises a whirlygig of media outlets in which we, and we alone, are not culpable. In times of great sadness, what more can we really do?

All media attention, except our articles, feeds this frenzied obsession. Our thoughts and prayers are with the authors of our think pieces about the departed.

Amanda Huntingslow,
Executive Editor

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