Saturday, 12 September 2009

Hype, Panic and Policy

Mark Easton, the BBCs Home editor, posted a very interesting journalistic blog recently ... entitled 'when panic shapes policy' ... which referred to the history/creation of the government's 'Vetting and Barring Scheme' as a child of moral panic.

'... It is a textbook case of how media hype, political expediency & bureaucratic process lead to conclusions that can later appear disproportionate ...' and referred to forums questioning such actions ...

... which will risk deepening the generational segregation that, to my mind, is now a greater cause of community disharmony than ethnic or class segregation. There is an increasing disconnection: adults are encouraged to see all young people as potential muggers while children are encouraged to view all adults as potential abusers ...

How many adults will decide against volunteering to work at the local youth centre or after-school club because they don't want to be judged by some faceless quango ... ?'

... refers to recent forum discussions, and concludes 'our democracy is regularly buffeted by panics which make rational, considered discussion impossible ...'

Is Mark Easton showing us that 'journalism' is set to make a come-back (cf news reporting), and that the BBC acknowledges the negative impact media hype is having on Government policy ... ?

Are we about to see calm, sound and reasoned judgements (based on a mixture of examining all the facts and applying a good dose of common-sense) make a come-back ? ... helped by the BBC ... ?

One would hope so, given they have a civic duty/responsibility to us all (and we pay all their salaries) ... but don't hold your breath !