Mar 232010
 
 March 23, 2010  Non-U.S., Online

This story, from the China Daily, about how a private individual with mental health issues became the focus of Internet and media scrutiny, and how the writer feels about the intrusion into privacy:

We have all seen the power of the “cyber manhunt”, and how dramatically people’s lives can be changed when they are caught in the media spotlight.

It sometimes seems as if everyone here is virtually stalking someone. But while it might be argued that most of the people involved are public figures who have put themselves in this position either through choice or actions, there are also unwilling and blameless victims who are thrust before the public gaze through no fault of their own.

The drama of “Brother Sharp” is such a case, and I want to say making news and satisfying our voyeuristic needs should not violate someone’s rights and privacy.

[…]

Viewing figures are the name-of-the-game for mass media, but that should not include presenting the problems of a troubled man’s life as a soap opera or Hollywood-style drama.

No ordinary person should have to be sacrificed on the altar of entertainment. Audiences’ interests are important to the media industry, but they should not dictate the direction of news making, if that direction is wrong.

Read more on Xinhuanet.

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