Friday, 11 March 2011

The power of reality television

Europe has woken up to news of a significant earthquake off the coast of Japan. Breakfast television is running live feeds from Japanese TV allowing us to watch the most brutal of all reality television.

Pictures this morning have shown a wave of water and mud hurtling across rural Japan eating up farms and roads as it goes. Watching cars and lorries accelerating, trying in vain to escape this tsunami, only to fail and be swamped by the muddy waters, is a shocking introduction to what, here in London, is a bright new day.
It is in moments like this that television's power becomes one for the good.

While it is difficult to realise sometimes that we are watching the likely death of another human being - precisely because we have been numbed to the sight of death through our addiction to television - without it we wouldn't be able to fully comprehend the horror currently unfolding in Japan.

Likewise, with the recent reporting from Libya, Egypt and Tunisia. Television can tell a story in a way no other media can. It is immediate, real and sometimes, like this morning horribly brutal.

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