It’s amazing just how active and catastrophic the media volcano can be. When the tectonic plates of public opinion are diverging or converging we see an eruption. One that totally engulfs individuals in the magma of assumption, and even the innocent observers under the acid rain or volcanic ash of supposition and suspicion suffer…
The slightest fissure in our social fabric (true or false), sends the Stratovolcano into a quickly developing Supervolcano, causing a crescendo of eruption in the flash of a millisecond. Intensive heat and constant opinionated outpouring, no matter how short-lived, then has a profound impact upon the surrounding social and economic foothills.
There may be those who simply enjoy the spectacle and warmth from a distance however; what many fail to recognize is some people nearer to the crater, can and do get seriously burnt. There are many examples of this however, reporting surrounding the recent student riots and the Alfie Meadows incident (see ITN News footage) is one such case in point…
Today our society’s prevalent opinion is often governed by the after effects of the media volcano. There are those who simply suffer from a slightly tainted view or distorted visions of reality. The after effects of itchy eyes resulting from acrid and sulphurous fumes of journalistic comment. There are those, that despite a heavy dumping of editorial volcanic ash, are resourceful enough to clean up the mess of deposited opinion. Finally, there are those who, unable to escape the lava flow of media clap-trap, end up being totally engulfed and disfigured for life. After all, even when the lava has cooled and stopped flowing, it sets solid and the remaining social landscape is changed forever.
The analogy between a volcanic eruption and our explosive media methodology, only remains constant and accurate to a point. Although volcanic and media activity are both predictable (to a certain extent), the outpouring of a volcano can’t be controlled, where as the output of our media machine can. Whether we are content to trust the ethics of their self-control guidelines or, we see a need to impose more stringent and enforced control measures, remains to be seen.
The now pressing question is; how do we level out the effects of a media volcano that is, dormant to eruption and back to barely active in a flash, all with little or no concern for the consequences?
- Tuition fees protest: Alfie Meadows has emergency brain surgery after ‘beaten by police’ (dailymail.co.uk)
- Student ‘hit by police truncheon’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Police investigate truncheon attack (independent.co.uk)