Hoaxes must end
Published 10/12/2012 | 05:00
• The death of a nurse at the King Edward VII Hospital in London, probably related to a hoax phone call made by an Australian radio station, highlights the unsavoury practices of many radio and TV stations whereby they seek to humiliate people for the purpose of so-called entertainment.
So-called reality shows are another example, even though they tend to portray anything but reality. Other shows depict people behaving stupidly or eccentrically, and the victims are often disadvantaged individuals or groups. The hoax call to the hospital involved a serious breach of confidentiality by the radio station, because confidential medical information concerning the Duchess of Cambridge received widespread publicity.
Other inappropriate programmes include live TV coverage of emergency services. We have had examples of retired gardai participating in programmes concerning past murders, which may be very insensitive towards surviving relatives of the victims.