Heartbreaking News for a Police Officer — Sensational News for Media


RCMP. The Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck

“Reporters thrive on the world’s misfortune. For this reason they often take an indecent pleasure in events that dismay the rest of humanity.” (Russel Baker, The Good Times, 1988).

Reading the newspaper: Brookgreen Gardens in P...

Reading the newspaper: Brookgreen Gardens in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For news to capture attention, it has to astound the audiences by assailing longstanding and time-honored traditions and ethical values of the social order. Sacro-sanctity of family relationships indeed matches the area that can be assaulted to generate the preferred outcomes for the news media. Nothing sensationalizes news more than the latest low moral standing of the social order and new low-levels in human decency. News media prospers on its feat with absolute inconsiderateness, in a business like fashion. Media moves on to the next scene and the next story after the commercial break, absolving itself of every responsibility.

“It is wrong and immoral to seek to escape the consequences of one’s acts.” (Mahatama Gandhi)



On the other hand, being the first responder on the scene of crime, the Police Officer has to face a different dilemma. He has to witness the scene, report it, and live with the memory of the gruesome details. He has to remember what really happened and how it happened so that justice could be delivered. Most important of all he has to live with it for the rest of his life. Police Force and society pays a heavy price for the media sensationalism.

Breaking News????

Breaking News???? (Photo credit: Anika Malone)

The way the media reports the news, the videos and interviews of the children and the spectators for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings or murders were going on serve only one purpose-sensationalization of the news. No news stories or articles focus on the victims of crime since this news does not sell. News media pastes the faces of killers and murderers on all their reports for hours, making them media heroes. Sensationalistic media lit the fire for young impressionable minds watching the news to go on a rampage and make themselves media heroes. The unfortunate result of news media sensationalism is promotion of a culture of fear and violence.

“We owe our children-the most vulnerable citizens in any society-a life free from violence and fear.” (Nelson Mandela)

Newspaper rack

Newspaper rack (Photo credit: NS Newsflash)

With the irresponsible publication of the information the reporters and editors in an inconsiderate and thoughtless way open up an atrocious “Pandora’s box” that has an outstanding possibility of leaving an objectionable mess on their faces, and creating the picture of our social order that is illusionary, blemished, deceptive, out of touch with truth, detached from the factual milieu of our life. The next story will be more sensational than the previous to keep the audience captivated and the news media believe they have no choice but to do this.

 “Choices may be unbelievably hard but they’re never impossible. To say you have no choice is to release yourself from responsibility and that’s not how a person with integrity acts.” (Patrick Ness, Monsters of Men)

© Samina Iqbal. 2013

News Media.

News Media. (Photo credit: micah.d)


ButlerSheriff (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About samina iqbal

I am a free lance writer who loves to write on social issues in particular. I am a house wife and my husband Dr. Shams Iqbal offers all the support and encouragement so that I can pursue my passion for authorship and other cause which is dear to me. My lifelong mission in life is to offer my support for the police officers who need to be supported and protected by general public like us. My inspiration to do this comes from my personal experiences of some of the greatest police officers whom I have witnessed do great deeds for the good of humanity. I am so inspired and fascinated to support this law enforcement group. On the other hand I like music, movies specially classics, I am a fashion geek, English and American literature are my passions.
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22 Responses to Heartbreaking News for a Police Officer — Sensational News for Media

  1. reocochran says:

    This is so well written and encompasses a lot. I think that police officers have a tough job, they have to have calm spirits yet brave actions. I am appalled sometimes of how the news media covers different big ticket news. The sensationalism is unnecessary, they need to stick to the facts! I like your writing style!


    • Thank you so much for such kind words about my style of writing and for liking my article. The topic is so vast and I tried to cover as much as I can. I do feel strongly that more media responsibility is necessary to have peace and tranquility in our society and it can play a positive role. But sadly commercialism and competition takes over. I appreciate your feedback. Thanks once again. Take care and have a lovely weekend.


  2. Excellent article, Samina! I agree 100% with your opinion of the media. Often I feel they glorify the killers by focusing all of their reporting on them rather than the victim and the first responders. Great job!


  3. Ajaytao2010 says:

    I Nominate you for Bouquet of Super Awards – 27 Nominations

    please choose any 4 awards out of the 27
    accept it and oblige

    there are no linkbacks for this award



  4. timethief says:

    What an important subject this is and how well you have presented it. Yes, the police and the media both play important roles in our society. But no we are not living in a more fearful and violent culture and anyone who has studied human history would never make such a claim. Clearly our culture is not more fear-filled and more violent than what the first immigrants to North America experienced and founded here.

    Of course police officers have to live with the lingering visions of what they witnesses when it comes to criminals, criminal activity and crime scenes. So do the on the scenes reporters and photographers though they play different roles.

    Presumably all police candidates are screened prior to being hired and trained. Presumably they are are continually supported by counseling professionals and other throughout their careers, which come with handsome salaries, substantial benefits, danger pay and disability pay and pensions. Either that’s the truth or the police officers in my family and among my friends who I respect highly are telling me tall tales.

    Human nature being what it is causes us to want to delve beyond the surface and ferret out the facts. What comes with the territory for both police officers and journalists ought to be a deep desire to get at and to report the truth. That motivation ought to trump all else and when we don’t see that we news consumers need to look in the mirror and see the face that shapes the news.

    Sensationalized tales of bizarre, frightening and outrageous events and the activities of deviant people have always mesmerized the masses. Let’s not forget that and lets’ not over state the case against the media either as only a minority of the media and the masses remain fascinated and fixated by deviance.

    Yes sensationalism in news reporting is mind bending and has it’s affects on the young and impressionable. When the only means of reporting was verbal reporting and embellished storytelling it also had it’s affects on the young and impressionable. The technological age has brought immediacy into the equation and the expectation that every crime can be solved in 30 minutes on the tube prevails simply because the majority buy into that modeling. If they didn’t like it they would not watch it or listen to it and if they ratings fell there would be chnage. So lest we start pointing fingers of shame and blame at the media lets suck it up and admit that the fingers will point right back at us news consumers.

    A reality check reveals what headlines the media day in and day out is what the majority want to see and hear most. The style it’s presented in is likewise dictated by majority preference in what’s quickly becoming a dumbed-down society. It’s not the media that are creating a culture of fear and violence. The culture we live in is now and has always been a fear driven and violent one. The difference is that reporting of the violence is no longer either delayed suppressed. It’s immediate. It’s in our faces and showcased emotionally because that’s what gets majority attention. The choice of watching and listening to high quality investigative journalism and documentary reporting or quickie, sensationalized commercial wrap-up is up to the individual. If and when more individuals choose the former we will gain the power to swing the pendulum back.


  5. Wow! I highly appreciate your taking so much time out of your busy schedule and writing about the issues I have addressed in my article. I do feel we must look at things from different perspectives and promote a healthy debate. I agree with everything that you have said because your views are that of a well informed and experienced person. I have learnt so much from them as I am sure my blogger friends will also do the same and if they would like to contribute, they are welcome. I would like to thank you for your enlightened input and would welcome it in future as well.


  6. I love the concept of your blog! most of the people don’t like police officers! you are raising a voice for them! a very unique effort!

    being a police officer is like being a doctor of morgue I guess… similar


  7. Thanks sharmishtha, it is an effort worth striving for. Yes I agree with you and what a right comparison. Thank you so much for spending so much time on my blog and for the valuable input which we all need to feel so much encouraged. God bless and take care my friend.


  8. Sensationalism in the media has gotten out of control with too much limelight on the criminal. I salute each and every police officer, EMT, and first responder out there who puts their life on the line in the name of justice and humanity – there are no words to express how much they do and give – thank you.


    • I fully agree with you, sensationalism has gotten out of control with so much attention on the criminal. Police officers and EMT and others who arrive at the crime scene have a very tough job to do. The victim hardly makes the news. Police officers and the citizens have to live with the aftermath of the media sensationalism. Thank you so much for sharing your valuable views and for the visit. I appreciate the input. Take care.


  9. newsferret says:

    That is what I find annoying in our society – the victim of crime comes of second best in all respects. When our police gets something great done it is hidden on the back page, if a policeman gets nailed for crime, corruption, bribing or whatever negative it is front page news for days – sensation sells, the good gets buried.


    • Yes the state of affairs is so sad and I fully agree with you. Media sensationalism has turned the values of our society upside down by honoring the criminal and ignoring those worthy of attention. Thanks for the visit and your valuable input. I appreciate it very much. Take care.


  10. Anonymous says:

    Hello, I have written a book about how to avoid and control the media. In the day and age of sensational media visuals are king. The idea is to keep the media from getting anything to work with. Its available on Kindle. -Enjoy


  11. Marcella Rousseau says:

    Samina, you are a saint! I could take a lesson or two from you!

    I majored in Communications and Psychology in college and I’ve done some writing for small newspapers as a photo/journalist. Some assignments were given to me and some I was able to suggest and have published. I don’t completely buy into the idea that the public drives what is published by the media. Media people can become addicted to the excitement and adrenalin rush of violent news stories and veer toward them. Publishers and news reporters meet to discuss what stories will be published.

    When my son was in high school, he told me of knowledge that he had of a gang moving into the area where he went to school. I gave this information to my publisher who, vehemently denied that there was any gang activity! Wow! Talk about someone being in denial! At any rate, I wasn’t able to investigate the story and of course it didn’t get published at that time. So, here was a case where it would have been beneficial to the public to learn that a gang was entering a neighborhood, but the story was squashed by the publisher. My point is that the public’s so-called interest in violent news did not drive the publication of this story. It was the personal decision of the publisher not to publish it. I’m sure this isn’t an isolated incident. It wasn’t long before other news reporters learned of gang activity and that gang-related problems were in the headlines.

    I watch the major news stations most evenings, and it is interesting to me that now they are ending each show with some uplifting news/video. I think that decision was influenced by the public. No person in their right mind would want to listen to bad news day in and day out. It would ultimately have a detrimental effect on your psyche! If a particular story has caught my interest, I check it out on the PBS news station to hear what they have to say and I also go online. I trust PBS news reporting over any of the other major broadcasting stations. PBS doesn’t have to pay any advertisers.

    Victims of violent crimes or impending violence may also have the opportunity to decline being interviewed by the media. Case in point, when my son was a toddler I enjoyed watching him playing with his friends in our plastic kiddie pool. This activity was curtailed when I saw a pack of dogs (one with only 3 legs) roaming our neighborhood. In frustration, I wrote to the editor of the local newspaper. My letter was published. A few days later, I received a call from a news reporter who wanted to interview me about the story. I really had no interest in that and felt that I made my point in my published letter. The reporter got angry and tried to bully me into doing the story. He asked, “Then why did you write the letter?” Duh! I guess according to him it was just so I could be on television! I told him it was my hope that someone with some authority would read my letter and would do something about the problem. A few days later, a quick-acting photographer snapped a photo of this pack of dogs and it was published in the paper. The local pound then rounded up the dogs and my son and his friends were able to enjoy their kiddie pool again. In this instance, the photographer did some good although I can’t always say that about news photographers! However, my point here is that victims don’t always have to give interviews to reporters. They can stand their ground and decline. Or, on the other hand, if they feel their story is newsworthy, they can call their local newspaper or news station and “pitch” their story. (I’ve had occasion to do this too and my story was nicely covered and published. Thank you very much!)

    Many newspapers are facing or have faced their demise with the advent of electronic media. It will be interesting to see where the media will go in comparison to the “old” ways of print publication. I am glad they are around to inform me, but I sometimes want to slap them for getting out of hand. They sometimes get too big for their britches!


    • Thank you so much for relating your personal experiences to highlight your points. I agree 100% with your views on this topic. No person with a sane mind would like to watch tragic and sensational news. It is the choice of the media to flaunt such news. I too have seen some change in the electronic media as well, and you are right PBS is a responsible network and has credibility. Print media is dying out and public opinion will effect the electronic media for a positive change, I hope so. Thank you so much for such kind words about me. WOW! i am no saint but a very humble human being but thanks for thinking so highly of me. I will try to keep up the high expectations of my blogger friends. I highly appreciate your taking the time to contribute with your valuable comment. See you soon. God bless and take care.


  12. Morguie says:

    Excellent piece.


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