Friday, 20 February 2009

No, I do not want to see The Picture, but thanks for asking

If it didn't stick in my craw so much, it might actually be funny: while we blast TMZ (as well we should) for publishing post-attack photos of Rihanna, we at the same time seem to have no compunction at all about forwarding that pic or stories bearing it among our circles of friends. I question the motivation of those forwarding it. Are you that keen to do your part in spreading the news? If so, let me help you out a bit and hit you with some knowledge: those people you're emailing it to have the interwebs also, so they're going to see it if they want to. And while you put poxes on the houses of TMZ staff, it's exactly people like you that they're targeting; people they know are going to pick up that story and run helter-skelter with it.

Pictures like that are not only disrespectful to Robyn's ordeal (I tend to call her Robyn a lot because we seem to forget that behind the recording sensation is 20-year-old Robyn Fenty, a young woman recovering from a very bad thing), they are also triggering for millions of women who have been through similar experiences. So please direct your adventures in web journalism elsewhere. The mongoose is not interested.


  1. Hmm, as one who forwarded you the story in The Times, with the photo picked up from TMZ, I beg to differ.

    Should the photo have been leaked? Absolutely not but it has and everyone is interested, whether they admit it or not. If you are Bajan then, misguided or not, you somehow feel you might even have a special interest.

    Are we buying into the media hype and helping TMZ line their pockets by forwarding the photo? willingly or unwillingly, we are but this is the media generation we will live in and the sad reality of public life.

    Does this mean we forget the person behind the ordeal? I think definitely for the majority who sent you the story/ pic, certainly not.

    When the story broke, the mongoose put it up on the blog not once but twice, thereby publicly showing your interest in the story and all that goes with it.

    If you wanted your interest to be private, you shouldn't have initially posted the story, then you wouldn't be getting the responses today.

    You can't express your views publicly and then decide to be selective about the feedback.

    It's both mongeese feet in or both out.

    Keep mongoosing.

  2. I think, Cam, that you can only represent your own intentions in forwarding the story, and not those of others. Some had some very sensationalist "come see the trainwreck" comments attached, with the photo embedded in the message so that there was no choice but to view it. Incidentally, it is those to which I was referring.

    I am interested in the story, but I determine the nature of my interest and how I choose to represent it and follow it up. I did comment twice, and one of those times was to highlight how inappropriate it was to use TMZ as a source for any news story. It was more a comment on journalism, and less a comment about Rihanna. I have a clear stance, and it is that I know of the incident, wish Rihanna well, and want us as a people to explore the wider issue of violence against women. If I had been interested in the ball-by-ball coverage, you would have seen that reflected in this blog.

    This is not a newspaper. This space is administered according to certain principles in which I believe. And one of them is that victims of abuse should be afforded the dignity of privacy while they heal. I love to receive reader ideas for entries. But I will not be dictated to on the kind of content I accept, or the stories on which I choose to comment. And if people had been paying attention to my 'public views', they may have been clued in to the fact that I would not be interested in a leaked police photo of the victim's bruises. So I of course welcome and value your comments as one of my most faithful readers, but I emphatically disagree.

    And mongooses have four feet.


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