Couples who propose at the finish line.
People who have made it through a difficult year and see completing a marathon as a significant end or start to a chapter of their lives.
People who beat a disease like cancer, or people who donate/receive an organ… someone who runs a marathon in memory of someone…
“Marathon” stories are usually stories of triumph of the indomitable human spirit, of love, life and sacrifice. They are stories that restore one’s belief in humanity, bring a tear to eye and a smile to the face. They are feel good stories, or as they called in India, Page 1 anchor stories. They are stories that make you want to do something good.
On Monday, April 15, 2013, most reporters – perhaps took their cups of coffee and a slice of banana-walnut bread – to watch the runners cross the finish line.
Perhaps one of those many reporters wanted to write a story about the runner who finished first. Perhaps another wanted to write about something else that caught their eye. Perhaps one of those reporters wanted to write about the person who finished last…
I am pretty certain nobody was prepared for what happened.
In the hours that followed there were mostly stories of courage and bravery, spotted with stories of stereotyping and jumping to conclusions about the perpetrator/s.
The cacophony reached its pitch on Wednesday as TV channels tried to compete with one another about which, of them had “breaking news first” regarding the arrest of the accused.
While I understand the desire to be the first one to break such important news, the exclusivity and the power – or show of strength of sources – that go with it, I also understand the need for responsibility. Especially in such cases where lives of people are involved, whether YOU brand them to be guilty or innocent.
Unfortunately, with TV news in India and the US anchors and reporters increasingly seem to be megaphones on steroids. They are judges, juries and executioners all rolled into one. They seem to be feeding an insatiable appetite – a mob that thinks “the liberal, lame stream media is of no good.” They seem to want to appease the unappeasable, the ones who will never be satisfied no matter what.
But isn’t that also a human fault? To try and please those whom we cannot seem to please? To get those to care who shun us the most?
However, when it comes to the media isn’t there a counselor, a therapist, an editor who says, “this far and no more? If you try and please those whom we can never satisfy, we hurt those who care and ourselves?”
Isn’t there someone who is responsible?