Wednesday, February 28, 2007

How many sides are there ?

How many sides are there to a 'situation' . Well theres certainly more than one !

Why is it that some people seem to think that if a story is printed in the newspaper, or shown on TV, that a) The story is 100 % true and b) that ALL the facts have been included ?

Its not true guys, sadly the media in this country ( and that includes TV, newspapers, internet and even books !) publish only what will make a 'good' story

Often the 'story' is incredibly one sided . By its very nature it has to be, a newspaper article is written by ONE person, so the story is going to be influenced by that persons views, life experiences, mood ... I am not saying that a journalist would lie, theres to much risk in my opinion for them to dothat, but that does not mean to say that they always include all the facts !! In the case of television reports, well the slant will be decided before filming ever begins !!

I know, from personal experience, just how much people's views can be coloured by the press. I am sharing a story here of a situation that I was involved in , my reaction and the lesson I learned from it.

A teacher at my son's school was accused of assaulting a pupil. My son was asked to stand as a witness as he had been there at the time of the alleged assault. I heard my son's version of events, I read the reports in the newspaper, and in my mind I condemned the teacher and found him guilty. After a very long period, the case finally came to court. We duly attended and Mike gave his evidence. Even leaving the court that day, to my mind, judging on what I had read in the press and what Mike had seen, I still believed the teacher guilty. It was a few days further on in to the case when suddenly the other side of the incident came out. The pupil had run out of the classroom ( Mike saw that) the teacher dragged him back in ( Mike saw that) and threw him into a chair ( Mike also saw that ) , but it was what happened outside the classroom, that until that point nobody outside of the few, had heard. It transpired that the pupil once outside the classroom had challenged the teacher, then pulled something out of his pocket, and made as if to hit the teacher in the stomach with it. all the teacher saw was a flash of silver. He thought it was a knife, so took what he thought to be the right action, he grabbed the pupil, restrained him, and 'disarmed ' him. the silver object transpired t be not a knife but a mobile phone. The teacher was found not guilty, returned to school and is once again teaching. before he returned I requested a meeting with him, as much as anything to ensure that he was not going to take it out on Mike for testifying against him. well, thew teacher is a good man , he understood why Mike had testified, thanked us for doing so, and told us that in fact Mikes evidence had helped, because he was honest and said when asked if he had seen certain things. The teacher is now one of Mike's favourite in the whole school !!

Far from being the devil teacher, assaulting kids for no reason, as portrayed by the press, he had in fact risked his own life to protect the pupils .

I learnt a hard lesson that day, and will never judge anyone now based purely on what is prnted in the press !!!

closer to home, a man we know currently stands accused of killing his wife. Once again, the press are depicting him as some kind of devil, who reguarly beat his wife, etc etc etc . Yet local rumours put a otally different slant on things, claiming that the wife was violent to him, that she was having agffairs, and that she was pregnant with another mans baby. So what is the truth ? Who really knows ? well only two people really know what happened that day, and one of them is dead. The court case is not far away, and hopefully then we will hear all the facts, and maybe just maybe the press will play fair .... not that I will be holding my breath on that you understand !!


Dan said...

Everything I read, hear or see, I take with a pinch of salt. But I'm an analytical, anally retentive virgo :D