Saturday, December 30, 2006

A question of values

A British soldier dies in a roadside bomb attack in Iraq. Another, who died the previous day in Afghanistan, is named. In the best-selling national broadsheet, this is the coverage they get (left), and there is no coverage at all of this.

On the other hand, a pop star - unknown to me and undoubtedly to many readers of the newspaper - has her dog stolen. And this is the publicity she gets... in the same newspaper.

The soldiers, in their own ways, died through neglect - our neglect, the neglect of our government, our opposition and, most of all, of our media. No wonder they feel neglected and unappreciated. No wonder recruitment and retention is problematic.

The maddening thing is that, even in journalistic terms - of there being a "good" story buried in here - there is sense in giving these deaths more space. So it is a reflection of the skills of these pompous, self-important, flatulent little creatures as journalists that they give so much weight to a nonentity

But, when they tell us how important our soldiers are, and how much they care, we shall remember. Kipling had it so right.


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