The British press – Friend or Foe?

Early media experience

grayscale photography buckingham palace
Photo by Mehrad Vosoughi on Pexels.com

I’ll start by telling you I have always been a fan of the Royal family. I can’t really say why as neither of my parents were huge supporters so I am not sure where it came from.

I remember being woken to the terrible news of Diana’s death and at just 14 years old, I was devastated.

Even at such a young age, the injustice of her death was very apparent.

Her whole adult life had been lived in the eyes of the whole world and the media who built her up and knocked her down. They hounded her, ultimately to her death.

I know some may feel that choosing that life meant she should have expected the lack of privacy or that she was the master of her own destiny.

Let’s not forget though that she was human just like the rest of us. We live our life free from scrutiny on the whole and this is our right. Why should that change because we are well known?

 

Lessons to be learned

 

As a 14 year old, maybe I was naive to the reality of the world we live in but I honestly hoped that the media would have learnt some lessons from Diana’s short life.

It would seem though that this was never going to happen. And here is where my dislike for the tabloid’s began.

Since Diana we have seen many many celebrities fall foul of the press. Again it would be so easy to say ‘Well they chose this life’ as if it is their own creation.

In reality it is ours. We want to watch great films, riveting television shows, watch the best athletes and vote for the underdog on reality television shows.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

And once we have begun to hold these people in high regards, the press steam in there and deliver us the news we are so desperately craving. We want scandal and drama in a world that is not real to us.

We don’t want drama and struggles in our own lives (OK well some might!) but we like to watch it play out for others, and who better than those in the world of celebrity?

It gives us something to talk about around the water cooler at the office, at the school gates or share on social media. To bitch and whine and be unkind. It’s OK thought right? These people are not real are they?

Well yes, they are very much real! They do a job, provide a service and generally entertain us each night on the TV, at the cinema, a sporting event or packing out an arena.

So did we lose sight of the people behind the celebrity or did the press make us forget?

 

Meghan and Harry

It’s like watching history repeat itself. Meghan has come from the world of celebrity. Does that mean she knew what she was letting herself in to?

While researching this post, I found MANY articles relating to the couple. But this one I found most shocking. Friends told me not to marry Harry because of the Tabloids

OK I am sure we have all encountered opinions from our loved ones about the people we choose to spend our lives with. This advice should NOT be a warning against marrying someone we love because of what impact the tabloids will have on our lives. How damn sad that this conversation even needed to take place.

Their entire relationship has been pulled apart from the very beginning. I am sure some of her family have played a huge part in this but let’s be honest, this would have happened with or without their assistance!

I honestly don’t think you could accuse the couple of craving this attention. Harry has seen the darkest side of the press following the loss of his Mother when he was just a child. He and Brother William have made their views on the British Media very clear and have worked extremely hard to protect themselves and their families from it.

I do feel that maybe William and Kate are more successful in this than the newly Weds but it is still a new world for them both as a couple with a young child.

I know they use the press to discuss their charitable foundations so of course it can have its uses for them but could the possible move to South Africa be a way to gain some privacy for the couple, or will they just be followed there too?

Could the reason the press are so keen to follow Meghan’s every move more to do with the feeling of the nation? Many people have made their views clear on Meghan, a view that she is not Royal material, being American and an actress makes her seem an unlikely fit. But hey, here’s a thought… Maybe they married for love and their relationship should be treated with the respect that our own are.

I know they are facing heavy criticism for filing a high court claim against the The Mail on Sunday.

He said he feared history repeating itself as he watched his “wife falling victim to the same powerful forces” which plagued his mother Diana’s life.

The legal action relates to the publication in The Mail on Sunday of a private letter which Harry and Meghan claim was published in an “intentionally destructive manner” to “manipulate” and to “further the divisive agenda” of the newspaper.

– Harry

But honestly,  they have the right to protect themselves from this kind of intrusion. We can’t ever really understand how it must feel to be plagued by something that we have such little control over.

 

My Media views

 

I think I made it fairly clear in my post The Social Media effect how I feel about the media and the general intrusion of people’s privacy and the impact that has on their mental health.

I don’t buy papers, I don’t follow any news outlet on social media and in general I try to keep as far away from glossy celeb magazines as possible, except at the dentist as that is all that’s on offer!

I worry when I see famous names trending on Twitter as I wonder what is being reported to us now.

I worry that this is seen as completely acceptable now and it is so ingrained that we constantly want more.

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Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

 

Should we be concerned about the mental health and well-being of celebrities?

Of course we should!

I take care of my own well being on almost a daily basis and I am becoming more and more aware of my own mental health.

As a blogger, I see Mental health becoming a huge subject matter that is written about so much as is well being, self love and self care.

It is a subject that is well publicised by these media outlets as well, they seem to conveniently forget that what they write has a huge impact on their subjects mental health.

I can not begin to imagine what it would be like to wake up to some of the headlines we are greeted with if that was about me. I wonder how I would feel to read comment after comment full of negativity towards me, especially when some of what is reported is far from the truth.

A story based on non-truths, ‘Fake News’ that opens up the subject to all kinds of criticism, and what for? Simply making a living.

We would not put up with this kind of behaviour from people in person, we’d label them a bully because quite frankly the it is the definition of bullying.

“Bullying is usually defined as repeated behaviour which is intended to hurt someone either emotionally or physically.”

I can’t see how this is different, and so publicly as well.

 

Will the tabloids ever become obsolete?

 

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I think we have seen plenty of underhand moves from the press over the years. Phone hacking being one of the lowest forms of harassment the famous have been subjected to. But what else do we not know about? I honestly dread to think.

And yes they paid the price for it to some degree, but I’m sure it barely scratches the surface.

We are hearing more and more that the famous are taking control of their own media reporting. Staging photographs, selling their own stories and sharing more through their own social media accounts.

But does this solve the issue or just create a bigger problem? Can we be blamed for wanting more when so much is already shared with us and are the tabloids just providing this for us?

Will there ever come a time when we no longer need the tabloids? Will we always crave the every detail of the rich and famous?

Sadly the answer is probably yes! It is such a part of our lives now whether we choose it to be or not.

Can there ever be celebrity without journalists? Would the famous continue to be of interest to us if we don’t know what they ate for lunch, who they are sleeping with and who is leaving them voicemails or would they just be able to work on their trade.

Would they be able to be better movie actors, be able to run faster, score more goals and record better albums.

Or do they need the journalists as much as they need them?

And will Piers Morgan ever crawl back from the rock in which he crawled out of????

 

 

What are you views on the media, Is it a necessary evil? Should people who choose that life just accept that this is what they will have to face or is it needed by them just as much as they journalists who write about them? Or is it bullying pure and simple?

53 thoughts on “The British press – Friend or Foe?

  1. We consider normal people being harrassed online cyberbullying but not when it’s celebrities which isn’t right. I’m glad Meghan and Harry are sueing, if the press hasn’t learned from Diana they might learn from this

    Ash | thisdreamsalive.com

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Freedom of the press, freedom of speech and the right to privacy. All important themes for democracy. And all of them open to abuse, so they need to be regulated. If anyone oversteps the mark, there should be accountability. To some degree, public figures do have to accept that their notoriety will attract public and media interest, and of course they need those things. The British tabloid press is definitely more agressive than in most places except perhaps Australia, where there are some pretty nasty journalists.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The media don’t care who they hurt and how. For example, take what they did to that 25-year-old truck driver from NI after the discovery of 39 bodies. They dragged his name through the mud prior to any evidence being presented that he was, in fact, involved. They even splashed his picture all over the internet and TV. No consideration for his mental health and the fact that he could be innocent. They won’t release rapist names but will release the name of a suspect to an horrendious crime, despite little evidence that he was involved?

    The media is disgusting and cares only about money.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m not very familiar with the British Press, but what I have seen it’s harsh. Celebrities are in such a spotlight and the tabloids can cause so much misery without even noticing it. It’s all about who can deliver the best gossip and gets the most on pay day, which is sad. Also, people thrive off of other people’s drama.

    Like

  5. Media nowadays is getting so ugly, they love to poke into people’s private lives. Celebrities or anyone privacy is the right to enjoy. I am glad Meghan and Harry are taking steps. Great post.

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  6. Great article!! I totally agree with you on all points! I think media is a type of bullying. So much of what they do and report is not covered by “the public’s right to know”! Thank you for trying to bring more awareness to this problem!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think we live in a very changed world since Diana’s death. The press is regulated even if very lightly. Nowadays people can say pretty much any thing on social media. It is very difficult for any one in the public eye to keep their privacy.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This post has really made me think. I also had the same thought as one of your other commenters yesterday about the Irish lorry driver whose face and name has been plastered all over the newspapers before anyone knows if he is guilty. And it’s happened before – the most famous recent case being that of Christopher Jeffries.

    I don’t understand what the media have against Meghan Markle. She certainly didn’t have the “perfect” life growing up and surely it is much easier for “normal” people to relate to her, rather than hate her? The media’s hatred is completely unfounded and sensationalised and I truly hope that history does not repeat itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is honestly heartbreaking to see how much she is struggling. Watching her on the recent documentary showed just how hard she is finding this. It was sad to watch. She had the same sadness in her eyes that were in Diana’s at times.

      I fear the real reason behind her treatment is the colour of her skin, because I can’t honestly see why her story is any different to Kate’s.

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  9. I do agree with some of your points, particularly that people, celebrities or not, have a right to privacy. Let’s be careful though not to categorise the ‘media’ as one body. There are some excellent journalist doing some amazing work out there. There are numerous issues throughout history where journalist have been responsible for exposing corruption, abuse and crime. Everything from thalidomide in the 1960s to the more recent MP scandal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very right, in fact we were just talking about this following on from a Sky crime documentary which quite clearly showed a person being set up by the police.

      Under the British press scrutiny I am almost 100% convinced that this would have been uncovered and those responsible held accountable.

      Their are many wonderful journalists, sadly those that hound celebrities can’t, in my opinion be counted as journalists at all. Or those that name a 25 year old truck driver as being responsible for the death of 39 people found dead in a lorry just hours after he was arrested, publishing pictures of him and his family all over the internet.

      Journalism should always have its roots firmly in truth and fact. And this is where terrible things are uncovered and for that I’d applaud them.

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  10. The royals seem different to most of the (need the media) celebrities. We should surely respect them. The nicer the press are the more they will give back

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  11. I believe this is bullying. Celebrities should expect some attention of course, because the world knows their faces, BUT they are also people just trying to live their life. I think the news needs to focus more on news that people NEED to hear about, not every move Meghan, or anyone makes. It’s a filthy job and unnecessary to poke into people’s personal lives like this. Just let them be.
    Great article and site!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I think Meghan and Harry are great and always have. I don’t pay much attention to the press and most people I speak to really like Meghan so not sure why they’ve had such a bad time off it in the press.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Very interesting and important post! I wouldn’t say I’m a ‘fan’ of the royal family, but I believe everyone deserves privacy and respect. The fact that people think money and fame protects you from mental health issues is very wrong. It’s normal for the royal family, or any celebrity to expect some nosiness into their lives, but when it harms wellbeing, it’s immoral an unfair. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I do think that royals and celebrities will always have to have the media has part of their lives, I think Meghan and Harry are doing a great job of using this outlet to raise awareness of serious issues and to try to be as honest as possible about difficulties we all face.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. It’s awful. The unfortunate reality is this will not stop until we, the public, stop eating tabloids up. We demand stupidity so we get stupidity. If we want smart writing and journalism, we must support smart journalism and constantly pursue knowledge. Stop clicking on clickbait. Stop the celebrity worship. Support reputable sources that use multiple sources and satiate our thirst for knowledge and curiosity. And always remember, ignorance is cyclical.

    Liked by 1 person

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