Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Vox pop vacuity

This week's shootings in County Durham led to a recurrence of the pointless media exercise where journalists hit the streets to ask people what they think of the incident and whether they were surprised by it.

The dialogue always runs as follows:

Journo: what's been the reaction in the town?

Local: we're all very shocked, this kind of thing doesn't normally happen here.

Journo: what about the killer?

Local: nice guy, kept himself to himself.

I'm genuinely bemused as to what news editors think they're adding to the story by broadcasting such banal guff.  If I were stopped in such a situation, I'd be tempted to answer "Pretty laid back, we have a massacre here most weeks." and "We all knew he was a nutter but no one would listen".

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