The other day I mentioned how it's silly to try and ascribe principles to something like a newspaper. They'll slag something off one minute, then about-turn the next.
Take this story in the Mail, for example. Let's leave aside the fact that they've pruriently gone into a breastfeeding angle on a story about a woman's death which otherwise they wouldn't have given a shit about. Or the fact the headline is written in the present tense, as if it's just happened, rather than this being an inquest hearing many months later. Or the fact that the relatives of the dead woman didn't want to speak to the newspaper - fearful of just this kind of sensationalist disgrace, you'd be forgiven for supposing. Or that while the coroner recorded an open verdict, the headline and intro lean towards suicide - because the Mail is a far better judge of what led to people's deaths than an amateur like a coroner for example. Or the comments from curtain-twitching bastards underneath the story who decide they've decided exactly what's going on. Or the fact that comments are permitted on an inquest, which would be doubly distressing for the family were they to venture onto the Mail's website (and let's hope they don't). Or the fact that this kind of thing is deemed acceptable when a family is grieving and has gone through the trauma of an inquest:
A lot of this young mother's trouble was homesickness.It takes some time to settle down in a new country for some people.
- hazel avery, SanDiego, 4/5/2009 15:56
No, let's forget all of that idle and distressing speculation about someone's death, if we can.
What I'm interested in is how the Mail sourced the pictures for its article - after all, what's the point in doing a story about a Dead White Woman unless you've got the photos to prove what a Maily type she was? So where did they get them from? Well, the Mail sourced the picture of the woman from Facebook, and got a picture of where she lived from Google Streetview.
That's Facebook and Google Streetview.
Facebook - which, according to a well-known daily newspaper, raises your risk of cancer.
And Streetview, which, according to a well-known daily newspaper, is condemned as a 'burglar's charter'.
Both of which can be safely ignored if you've got a story to write and need some nice free pictures to illustrate it.
Principles? Of course not.