Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Media Giveth, The Media Taketh

You probably heard the story of this young girl found wandering the streets of NYC, Queens to be exact, some time back. No one knew anything about her so, in an effort to get more information about her, the authorities put her on the telly. “Within five minutes of the first broadcast, people were calling in tips to help reveal her identity, and the police were led to the man accused of killing her mother and abandoning her.

Then the whole thing turned. Her grandparents, both Bolivian, started fighting for custody and while the judge has named the kid’s mother’s cousins as her temporary guardians, the media attention is so intense that the kid can’t do anything other than stay inside the house and twiddle her little thumbs.

Is the problem with the media? I mean, it was great that with their help the authorities discovered who the kid was and found the murderer of her mother and the media is greatly responsible for that. However, when should it end? When does the kid go back to being a kid? She has gone through a traumatic time and when does she go back to trying to put the pieces of her life back together?

Where is the off switch? Who controls it and will they please turn it off? I don’t blame the media for this, by the way. I blame the people who are reading the stories about her and want to know more about the kid. It’s their fault. The media is just the messenger.

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