Smug tweet after tragedy was tasteless
THE decision of News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch to tweet a congratuatory message to one of his titles in the wake of the Sydney gun siege last week has bee branded by many as heartless and smug.
He decided to let everyone know how quick off the mark the Daily Telegraph was in breaking the outcome of the tragic incident which left two innocent people dead along with the gunman.
His tweet showed how far removed he is from the ordinary reader or person on the ground.
While as a businessman of course he is right to be concerned about performance and some would say he has a right to celebrate such success in terms of an international news story of this magnitude but to be so overtly triumphant is tasteless.
What is worse is that Murdoch is an Australian native and not even this link to the country hit by this shocking siege inspired any sort of public sympathy.
His tweet showed complete disregard for the families and loved ones of the deceased, both of whom have been hailed as heroes for their bravery during a horrific and unthinkable incident that ultimately cost them their lives.
The conflict that every journalist faces is that while one always wants to do the best job possible and deliver the news as quick as it breaks it is never right to revel in the misfortunes of others. A common complaint I hear is that ‘ there are no good news stories’ in newspapers today.
For a start this isn’t true but as much as people say they care about good news they also want to know about the bad news.
While good news can be positively shared and celebrated the same cannot be sad for tragedies and suffering.
There must be respect and understand- ing for those who have been hurt.
Getting information about the so called ‘ bad news’ is necessary and while people want to be informed they certainly don’t want those who relay the information to be seen to be gleeful about their success. The public smugness was what angered people the most. A man of Murdoch’s wealth and influence should be seen to be a little more savvy but he probably doesn’t care what people think anyway.
Was that tweet seriously the only thing he had to say about the tragedy? A small bit of empathy would have gone a long way and would have cost him absolutely nothing.