I love radio.
I’ve always loved radio.
Right now, I love radio more than usual.
Just because you can do something, like take photos of dead refugee children, or take live footage of people being shot in the street, doesn’t mean you should use that footage. The best news reporters don’t need to shock their audience. The best news feeds don’t need to make an over-the-top play for your attention. The best news doesn’t need to do that because it reports what’s important: the facts.
The facts are horrific, sometimes. The facts are terrible, and full of all the bad things we can imagine and many of the bad things we don’t want to imagine. Our minds are assholes and they can form the pictures all on their own.
This isn’t about trigger warnings (which I don’t think much of, sorry to say). It isn’t about being ‘overly sensitive’ (which is just code for “your discomfort at this thing I’ve just done makes me feel bad, and I don’t like feeling bad”). It’s about one simple thing:
I don’t want to see photographs of dead children, video of murders on live television, images of bodies stacked in mass graves. I don’t want to see that in my social media feed. I saw enough of that when I was at a concentration camp museum when I was a kid, or when I was at the National War Museum. I don’t need to see it again.
So I’m turning off a lot of feeds today. If you feel the need to publish images of dead and dying people, I just won’t be consuming your news. If you feel the need to share those images on social media, I’ll come back in a few weeks.
Those images do absolutely nothing to add to the importance of your story, the gravity of your story, or the facts of the story. You’re not Time Magazine, and I’m not some sheltered 1950s housewife who doesn’t know what’s really going on in the world.