All new trends and behaviours in society immediately pass through the watching lenses of the media, which knows very well what matters are to be pushed into which court of justice. So it is that matters like singles living alone, live in relations, use of explicit content on gadgets, suicides, alcohol related driving accidents, subjects that immediately rattle the 'normal' senses of the journalists are transferred to the courts of psychologists, social workers, sociologists, psychiatrists, teachers, etc - the 'courts' that deal with such behaviour.
It is a smart move, but puts a question mark on why such features are being printed at all and whose side is being taken. Apparently, interviews taken of the people involved would appear as if the media is objectively reporting a new trend or describing an interesting issue, like a democratic medium would. The involvement of these professionals mentioned above, at a later stage in the report, shows the report in a different colour - the writer has really taken a view of the matter, judged the issue in a particular light, and has put it in a certain category of behaviour classed as abnormal or a cause of concern. In an implicit way, the matter has been reported to the concerned officials.
Consider reports of suicide, an action that never ceases to trouble our sense of normality and seen as the ultimate and class statement of an individual's grouse against society and its order in general. It is an act that immediately questions the system. How does a typical media report treat such cases when the subjects happen to be popular and well known?
A typical report begins like this: "Neighbours described him / her as a happy, generous, cheerful, friendly person pursuing a dream career..." With no probable cause discernible on the surface, the reports then delve into the social and psychological aspects of the issue, and definitely include views of these professionals and anyone seen to be in the position of a 'custodian' or guardian of society.
Suddenly, the faith of the journalist in the sanctity and security of their system is shaken, and these are the people who can restore it back to its normalcy. The diagnosis of the case is normally that of underlying depression, and the causes are the usual suspects of urbanity, modernity, competition, drugs, fast life...
The only problem apparent here is how to settle an issue that seems to outrage our sense of order in the world, and defend it against people who seem to behave in odd ways. Once the problem is
understood as that of the media itself trying to save its own sense of normalcy, it’s not difficult to come up with satisfying solutions. That is only until the next case of suicide or some other
social trend or experiment in marriage comes up, and the game begins again...
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