Conscious of the fact I really should be reviewing the news programmes, I tuned into the 4.45 evening news on ITN where the leading feature was a coach crash involving Britsh holidaymakers in Belgium.
The coach was returning from tour of Prague, Vienna and Budapest and was carrying thirty five passengers and two staff (drivers). Four Britons were described as seriously injured, including one of the drivers. An image of a map showing exactly where the crash had taken place was shown, with the close towns highlighted. A long feature for quite a "minor" incident.
Our next feature concerned school exams. A report has been published which says that exams are stressing our children and this is causing children to drop out of school; some unable to even read or write. This actually baffles me, how can someone go to school for say even 8 years and be unable to write. Surely this is not the fault of exams and shows a greater malaise. If I was a teacher and had a pupil who could not read or write, especially at primary age, then you would surely make an effort to teach them. Without these basic two skills, they do not have any chance at all surely in any type of education.
Time for War - Afghanistan. Soldier killed in an ambush. Map of Afghanistan shown, with the two main close towns highlighted.
Madeleine McCann. They are heading to Morocco next in their search, so we saw another map, showing the towns highlighted again. We were told they are taking time out to grieve and we saw images of the McCann's. Obviously reality is starting to hit home.
Formula 1 next, Lewis Hamilton in the Canadian Grand Prix. A pre race summary and we were told this would be "a titanic battle of nerve".
Falklands again, ITN are still covering the anniversary of the War and next week they have a special series of reports called "Heroes return". In this feature, Simon Weston, an ex serviceman will return to the Islands and speak to locals about the "human impact of the Falklands War". For those unaware, Simon Weston received horrendous burns to his face in the War which have not exactly healed properly and left severe disfigurement. I personally cannot look at his face. Again, as with last Tuesdays feature on aborigines, is this not like the Victorian human zoo of freaks and is that why Mr. Weston was selected to act as a reporter.
Finally, a feature on Tony Blair and a possible acting job in a proposed "movie" (not fim) on Climate Change. Tony would be called Mr Switch and we were told he had been preparing for the roll for ten years. What can you say.
So, be scared to go on holiday or on the roads, watch your stressed children all the time due to paedohphiles, be scared of ongoing wars. Be scared all the time. ITN reinforce this message by using images of similar maps (in this instance) to unconsciously reinforce and link these different stories.