Anorak News | Derrick Bird: Snuff Movies, Books And Raw Entertainment

Derrick Bird: Snuff Movies, Books And Raw Entertainment

by | 26th, June 2010

DERRICK Bird: Coverage of Cumbria’s ““TAXI TERMINATOR” (Daily Star) in the press has not always been sensitive. Jaime Reed, MP for Copeland, Cumbria, tells the House of Commons that the media needs to do better. He called for a “better, enforceable code of conduct for the media“.

In such situations, there is no place for the media’s invented exclusives, its prurience and voyeurism, its mawkish brutality and its cold-blooded pursuit of profit at the expense of the families of those most affected.

Do you show pictures of the mourneres at graveside? Anorak had the pictures but decided against it. But the media has a job to do. When shot taxi driver Don Reed shows his wounds to the cameras he wants to be seen. So. The pictures and his story are published. Les Hunter wants to talk about being shot.

Everyone expects intense media coverage of tragedies such as that which affected Cumbria, but do people really expect the news to give way to entertainment?

Yes. Anyone who has watched the treatment of Madeleine McCann, Stephen Griffiths – the Crossbow Cannibal – or any story that is blessed with celebrity angle expects entertainment. Lady GaGa made an entry into the Derrick Bird murders. Readers do not always care. Readers just like to look.

I wish to talk about the behaviour of much of the media in recent weeks, and the anger and dismay that it has caused among my community.

You can go too far. Giles Coren went too far, using Derrick Bird to plug his anger management book. (he later apologised.)  The Sun went too far in its snuff movie.

Carole Malone told News of the World readers – get this:

First it was incredulity. Now it’s anger. Raw anger. The people of Cumbria are raging – yet their anger isn’t directed at Derrick Bird.

At least not yet. For now it’s directed at a world that has suddenly and without warning invaded their lives, a world that is shining an unwelcome light on them at a time when they are scared and vulnerable and confused.

It’s as if Derrick Bird is their shame, their failure and they want to deal with it privately in their own time.

These proud working class communities don’t want to grieve, to heal themselves with the world looking on…

And where once tourists would come to see the scenery, now they’ll come to gawp at Derrick Bird’s killing fields.

That’s Carole Malone judging, patronising the locals and turning the story into a them and us – and elects herself to speak for them.

Those Media Scores: Derrick Griffiths (Taxi Terminator) 12 – Stephen Griffiths (Crossbow Cannibal) 3 (Maybe)

Jaime Reed then makes the case for local news:

The media local to the tragedy – the Whitehaven News, the News & Star, the North West Evening Mail, Border television, BBC Radio Cumbria and “Look North” – reported the tragedy with a care and diligence entirely different from that of the national media.

That is because they are rooted in the area and care about the people about whom they are reporting. They understand the power of their roles and the effects of carrying them out in particular ways.

The Whitehaven News was particularlyimpressive, as just one week before, it had reported the tragic deaths of Kieran Goulding and Chloe Walker, constituents who were killed in the Keswick bus crash. Like the News & Star, the Whitehaven News understands the role that it plays in my community and how it can help the community’s healing process-not the families’ healing process, perhaps, but certainly the community’s.

It also understands that elections are fought and getting the local media on-side might be helpful? (Am I too cynical?)

To give a parallel – I know that this is a difficult issue – certain national newspapers have elicited feelings in my community similar to those that were elicited in Liverpool by the way that the Hillsborough tragedy was reported.

He added:

Certain desperate, spiteful journalists have written some dreadfully inaccurate copy simply because members of the community would not speak to them on learning that they were journalists.

That reflects badly on those journalists; naming them would surprise nobody and so serves no purpose today.

Go on. Name them.

If the west Cumbrian community demonstrates just how far from being broken Britain really is, then behaviour like that from certain sections of the media demonstrates just how dysfunctional and broken the media’s values are, and that their attempts to infect decent society with their values are iniquitous and wrong.

I know journalists who have had their stomachs turned by the actions of some in their fold – they are far from being all the same – but surely such behaviour cannot be sanctioned and must be stopped.

To that end, I will write to the National Union of Journalists and the Press Complaints Commission to seek meetings, and to discuss how the issue can be taken forward and how professional codes of practice can be improved significantly.

His words wer not widely reproted. But it is unfair to single out the rpess, who must compete with internet and broadcast media. And aren’t we interested in the details and the horror? Don’t we want to see the victims and the killer?

Readers are not involved in these stories  unless they have bene directly affected by the event. The media’s mawkish words and trite sentimentality are used for one thing: to keep the reader reading. And readers complain with the wallet not letters. If they hate it, the punters won’t buy it and the media will have to change..


Picture 1 of 61

Whitehaven taxi driver Don Reed who was shot and injured by Derrick Bird who went on a shooting rampage in Cumbria, killing 12 people.


Posted: 26th, June 2010 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink