Anorak News | Cleansing Soap

Cleansing Soap

by | 23rd, September 2003

‘DO soap operas merely reflect the society they are designed to appeal to or are they meaningless parades of filth, violence and depravity?

The new Trevor McDonald

Of course, the answer could be yes to both parts of that opening question.

The human world is not such a wonderful place, especially when viewed through the lens of TV news cameraman.

The Telegraph has seen a study conducted by the Independent Television Commission, the BBC, the Broadcasting Standards Commission and the British Board of Film Classification and noted the finding that TV news is more frightening than soap operas.

Of course, this would depend on whether you get your news from Trevor McDonald or Al-Jazeera, and whether your soap du jour is Neighbours or EastEnders.

But to the report, and the news that young viewers are more likely to judge scenes as violent. We learn that some children aged nine to 13 even regard shouting as violence.

This is alarming, especially for the likes of Davina McCall, who, by this token, must be only marginally less dangerous than Osama bin Laden.

But having seen the problem, the BBC is seeking a cure.

Stephen Whittle, the broadcaster’s controller of editorial policy, says work is being done on producing a warning that will flash up on screen if viewers switch to programmes containing violence.

Swear words, shouting and the splinter of breaking limbs will be disguised by the sound of Tony Blair talking about his holiday in the Caribbean for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, violent scenes will be hidden behind an image of Saddam Hussein, on whom all the frightening acts will be blamed…’

Posted: 23rd, September 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink