Before you start reading, be warned, this blog is a media whinge. I rarely watch the news (and if I do it’s SBS or the ABC ) and avoid current affairs shows. Waaaay too much human interest (that’s media talk for human misery) for my liking. When I began to tune into the flood coverage, I was more than a little dismayed at the quality of reporting. The authorities are going out of their way to quell wholesale panic, yet the media (including the ABC and SBS, alas) seem hell bent on whipping the whole flood situation into a frenzy. Yes, the floods have been heartbreaking, devastating, frightening, but could there be a little more focus on the facts and less on human misery? Two survivors of the horrific flash flood in Grantham were asked how they felt! They have just witnessed death and destruction on a mammoth scale, how does he think they’ll feel? Duh. Have universities added a new course in journalism degrees? Something along the lines of ‘How to lose your empathy’ or perhaps ‘Develop your most inane and insensitive questions’. Distraught relatives, displaced communities,drowned cattle, houses and businesses ruined – all very real images of the floods, but why must they be shown over and over and over? The 9/11 twin towers destruction was the same. After a while it seems almost surreal. When does genuine shock and concern morph into voyeurism? I’ve stopped watching. These people have been through enough heartache. We can at least respect their right to grieve in private, without a microphone thrust into their faces.