- About TFT
Friday Thing Archive
- Politics
- Media
- Culture and Society
- War On Terror
- People
- Places
- World
- Popped Clogs
- Music
- Books
- Film
- Etc
Help And Info
- Contact Details
- Advertising
- Jobs
- Privacy Policy
- XML Feed

Home > Media

Journojism: Reality-avoidance news

12 November 2004

If you've got Sky News channel, you may have witnessed an interesting new development in TV journalism recently. (And if you're male, we don't just mean carrying out a deeply sexist but also inadvertent mental assessment of which news channel has the most attractive presenters.)

Sky got their hands on some extended - and quite exciting - footage of street fighting in Fallujah. In every bulletin they ran the grainy, panicky footage without a commentary, saying it was a chance to get 'a soldier's eye view' and that the viewer would be 'able to see for themselves' the situation without a voice over.

What a fucking BRILLIANT idea! Someone at Sky is no doubt getting a hefty bonus for simultaneously inventing Dogme 95 news and saving Sky the cost of getting someone to explain what the hell was going on. But why stop with grunt's-eye-view footage of Iraq?

Next time there's a train crash, Sky can just show a crashed train. No reporters, no anchormen, just two minutes of shaky palmcorder footage of a crashed train. The next G8 summit? Just some people in suits wandering about officiously. High profile court case? The viewer can probably grasp the gist of it with a few shots of the Old Bailey.

But since we're being asked to interpret the news ourselves, why not just turn off the sound on your telly and invent your own commentary? Use your imagination and suddenly the world becomes a much better place.

There goes Yasser Arafat, off for a nice holiday in Disneyland. Ariel Sharon says he's baking him a cake for when he gets back and they're going to sort out the Arab/Israeli situation amicably, over a cup of tea and a slice of chocolate-and-orange sponge. There's Emlyn Hughes, alive and well and still playing professional football after all these years. Look! There's the Black Watch, camping on a sunny beach in Thailand. Watch out for those ladyboys, lads! You might be in for a surprise!

We're frankly amazed noone has thought of reality-avoidance news before. Oh, maybe they have. It's called the Fox Network.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

Subscribe to The Friday Thing for free

Bad words ahead The Friday Thing is a weekly email comment sheet. Casting a cynical eye over the week's events, it is rarely fair and never balanced.

A selection of articles from each week's issue appear online, but to enjoy the full Thing, delivered by email every Friday - as well as access to almost five years of back issues - you'll need to subscribe. It's absolutely free.

"Razor-sharp comment and gossip." - The Sunday Times

"Hilariously cynical..To describe it as 'irreverent' is to do the newsletter an injustice." - The Observer

"Sharp, intelligent, opinionated, uncompromising and very, very funny. Just like 'Private Eye' used to be." - Alec McKelland

"Wicked" - Channel 4

"Ace" - Time Out

"'We rise once again in advocacy of The Friday Thing. We realize that some of you may be unwilling to spend [your money] on plain-text comment, but you're only depriving yourself." - The Minor Fall, The Major Lift

"Subscribing to this at the beginning of the year was undoubtedly one of the better decisions I've made. Superlative, and utterly marvellous. I look forward to Fridays now, because I can't wait for the next issue. Fucking fucking brilliant." - Meish.org

"Featuring writers from The Observer, Smack The Pony and The 11 O'Clock Show... will continue to attract new subscribers sight unseen" - NeedToKnow

"The Friday Thing is so good it's stopping me from doing a bunk of a Friday afternoon." - Annie Blinkhorn (The Erotic Review)

"So now" - The Evening Standard

"Damn it, you rule. May you never, ever back down." - Paul Mayze

"Ace" - PopJustice

"Snarky" - Online Journalism Review

"Can you please stop making me laugh out loud... I'm supposed to be working, you know!" - Tamsin Tyrwhitt

"Your coverage of stuff as it spills is right on the money." - Mike Woods

"Popbitch with A-Levels." - Tim Footman

"In an inbox full of trite work-related nonsense, TFT shines from under its subject heading like the sun out of Angus Deayton's arse." - Nikki Hunt

"A first rate email. It's become an integral part of my week, and my life would be empty and meaningless without it (well, *more* empty and meaningless anyway)." - Mark Pugh

"Genius, absolute bit of class. And you can quote me on that." - Lee Neville

"If you're hipper than hell, this is what you read." - MarketingSherpa

"The most entertaining email I've had all week. Great tone." - Matthew Prior

"A massive and engrossing wit injection." - idiotica.co.uk

"I wouldn't know satire if it bit me on the arse. But I did like the Naomi Campbell joke." - Matt Kelly (The Mirror)

"Has had an understandably high profile among people who know about these things." - Guy Clapperton (Guardian Online)

"Satirical sideswipes at the burning issues of the day." - Radio 5 Live

"Puerile and worthless... Truly fabulous... Do read the whole thing." - Stephen Pollard

The Friday Thing 2001-2008 - All Rights Reserved