Friday, September 28, 2007

Tabloid 10 o'clock and the Harm of Children

What are we to learn about the constant information pouring into our lives of the harm of children by their parents, caregivers, relatives and other children? Are we to click our tounges disapprovingly and thank our God that our family doesn't have these issues? What is it that our media (in particular the local televison news agencies and local newspapers) is trying to tell us about these incidents? Again, I have to ask:

What are we to learn?

Every night we are barraged with images of some "intrepid" news reporter with a HD camera sitting outside of some non-descript home with a few neighbors in the background discussing how the family was either well-liked or no one really knew them. There isn't any substance. No one talks about trends in the country, or how we can help people through parental education or how through funding better family intervention programming. This is where an unleashed invisible hand hits at the most vulnerable and our media happily (but with a stern look and a quick read of the teleprompter) reports it. Harm or death of children in 30 second sound bites only an inch deep and a mile wide.

News like this MUST have context of our greater society, otherwise what does reporting the body count of our locality actually mean. "Look: a child was run over by a car. It's a terrible accident. Their family and friends are sad. Next, we'll talk to you about the new fried foods at the State Fair."

My children have hopes and dreams and laugh and cry and nurse and love. These children did also. They deserve more. Our society deserves more.

No comments: