Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Child Protection when it suits the Media

Am I the only one, who found the story of the obese child, from the North East whose welfare is being considered by social services, profoundly disturbing based on the facts and the treatment by our press and media.

Let me explain, as I understand a young kid of eight, has an eating disorder for whatever reason, be it, poor diet, poor parenting, poor background etc, naturally social services have become involved and are considering the child’s best interests, but just exactly what do the media think their doing?

The press also have a role to inform and discuss such cases but do they have to be so intrusive. The child involved is eight, too young to consider the full implications, of having the ‘tonight show’ publicise him and his circumstances to the “hard of thinking” that I assume make up Tonight’s audience.

Maybe I’m the only one who thinks like this . I thought children where supposed to be protected from the media, it seems ironic that social services may be considering protecting this lad from his parents whilst the media present this story with what appears to be absolutely no consideration for the child.

You can bet your life, that the producers of tonight will have sort parental permission, to remove anonymity for this child but since one question in this case is likely to be parental competence shouldn’t they have exercised, some more sensitive approach.

The sun news paper journalist Grant Rollings asks, “is this child abuse?” if he is referring to the insensitive reporting in this case my answer would be yes of course it is but then I’m just a blogger.

Surely the great Trevor McDonald, could have presented the facts with a lot less sensationalism and maybe more journalism?


  1. your always doing stories about obesity and discrimination against fat people. obviously deep down youve got a big problem with being fat yourself. why not do something about it, then?. mind you, guess from looking at your pic you havent seen 14 stones in many a year!

  2. You miss the point anon 01:22, a child is being subject to a massive amount of publicity, for what, the entertainment of simple minded folk. There can be no benefit to the child and it looks like cheap journalism to me.

    I hope you don't mind me saying that your comments, would suggest that you've not long left the playground.

    If I have a problem, it would be with wimps, such as yourself who lack the moral fibre to associate themselves with their own rather puerile thinking.

    Hope I didn't descend to far to your own level.

  3. Agree with your comments completely, Tony. The lad in question appears to suffer from an eating disorder and on camera seemed a pleasant young kid. An ASBO earning scroat has anonymity when we all need to know about it but this youngster has no protection. What worries me is the PC knee-jerk that mum is mistreating this lad because he has a problem with obesity. So, if you are a big bloke you can join the persecuted minority who hunt, drive 4x4s and smoke! Welcome!

  4. As a producer who's worked a lot with Sir Trevor, I'd have to point out that he only reads the intro and outro, and wouldn't have had anything to do with the actual story. Not that it excuses him in any way, he's putting his face to it and taking the money. But he is a jolly nice chap, one of the best, so I always like to defend him whenever I can.

    The producers of the programme would certainly have played on the old 'this is your chance to get your side of the story across' to the family. An old journalistic trick employed by everyone from the BBC to the loathsome News of the World.

    Unfortunately Tonight With TMcD is one of the shabbier products of an increasingly shabby news and current affairs department at ITV, which has dumbed so far down that even Daily Mail readers probably find it hard going these days. Trevor should quit before it's too late.