Spanish Journalism Reaches New Low

Spaniards are not big newspaper readers. The tabloid end of the news market in not in print at all but on television. Spanish TV stations are awash nightly with B-list celebrities and their comings and goings -- often from the airport. The sight of a celebrity walking away from the camera, ignoring a "journalist" repeating the same question over and over is a nightly occurrence on TV. Footage, that in most markets would be considered useless, makes it to air in Spain. A celebrity not giving an interview is still "news" worthy.

But today Spanish journalism reached a new low. Perhaps it was the panic. Or perhaps it was the familiar territory of MAD-T4 that caused a lapse of judgment. Today after a plane crashed on take off at Madrid Barajas Airport I saw family members of passengers on TV not giving an interview. One distraught woman was being pursued as the left the terminal building.

Celebrities court the media. The don't get to complain when the attention becomes too much. But everyday people should be treated with more respect. And victims of crimes or accidents and their families should be allowed to deal with their trauma and terror in private, if they wish. Even if such people give their consent, and this woman did not, there's no way under the circumstances that that consent can be informed and considered.

Even if the "journalist" on site was caught up in the moment. The news editor should not have allowed the coverage to go to air. Shame. Shame. Shame.


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