Saturday, March 10, 2012

The politics of reporting death.

On the CBC news this morning: a snow-mobiler died in an avalanche near Fernie in the East Kootenay.

Please note that this person was engaging in an activity  for fun. Warnings about the unstable snow pack have been plentiful. They seem to be as effective as warnings to teenagers about the dangers of  sex. Nobody  thinks VD or pregnancy will happen to them.

NOT on the national or provincial news a few weeks ago: a much loved husband, father and grandfather died in an industrial accident on the job. This man was where he was to put bread on the family table.

I wasted at least an hour of my morning Googling to making sure I had not missed a news item on this local tragedy. The closest was a mention on the Google blurb for this site:, but on the site itself there was nothing. 

This is a recurring pattern. 
Fatalities in the context of risky recreation are considered newsworthy, accidents on the job are considered par for the course, unless they are very dramatic.

Is something wrong with this picture?


troutbirder said...

There is something wrong. Wall streeter half destroy the economy with their greed. And get rewarded. Working people lose their jobs and home... tough. It part of the cycle. Labor unions are demonized. Vapid celebrities are heroes. People who can't pay for health insurance... tough. Sorry.

Ien van Houten said...

Thank goodness some people see through the propaganda and have some sense of history!

Jacqui Binford-Bell said...

I am a student of history come lately. By which I mean I hated history in school because it seemed all about dates.

But in my adult hood I have found a natural thirst for knowledge of a few random periods of history. One of my favorites is 1865 to 1910. The great western expansion. Who great was America in the building of the transcontinental railroad. But the work conditions were absolutely deadly. They used Irish and Chinese and who cared.

Even history books often skip over how many brakemen on railroads lost limbs because of the substandard equipment employed. They talk of the difficulty of making tunnels through the Sierras but do not mention the Chinese that went with the dynamite charges sometimes. Let us not say anything bad about industry.

Having worked on a newspaper I can say the snowmobile accident may have been covered to hammer home that he was where he shouldn't be and don't go there. While we certainly don't want people to not go to work or heaven forbid unionize because of unsafe conditions.