Apr 21, 2017

In ‘no angeling’, are we telling important stories, or preying on the vulnerable?

In publishing personal details about people like Duncan Storrar, David Dao and Dylan Voller, is the media just hurting private citizens, writes journalist and media-watcher Christopher Warren

It was hard to elbow that amateur video footage of a Louisville doctor being dragged off the United Airlines flight out of the media spotlight. Yet, by “no angel-ling” the doctor and publishing details of his life, the professional media managed to put themselves at the centre of the story.

We could pass this over as just another oddity from the very odd Trump-era America if it weren’t that “no angel-ling” is as much a contested characteristic of Australian media as it is of the US. And perhaps worse, in Australia, it’s been weaponised into political debate and contributed to the overt political alignment of individual media outlets.

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6 thoughts on “In ‘no angeling’, are we telling important stories, or preying on the vulnerable?

  1. lethell

    The issue is not the victim’s relative weakness, it is the irrelevance of his or her history to the substance of their complaint or injury. If one cannot be a victim of mistreatment unless one’ s past is beyond reproach we have created a class of people who can be abused or exploited with impunity.

  2. [email protected]

    If something can be angled, Chris, there is nothing celestial about it, and I guess “angling”, although a participial form, is okay, and less confusing, too. Does a kid acting out really badly, justify the NT Court ruling that okayed the abuses of Aranda House and Don Dale? No. A violation of human rights, or child rights is just that, a violation. Responsibility in journalism, however, is another issue. Heroic truth pursuers are the best, I reckon.

  3. Northy

    No-angelling is News Corp’s M.O. Except in rare circumstances where there’s an obvious justification, it’s quite a pathetic and predictable technique.

  4. AR

    The Commonwealth is, by its own rules, supposed to be “an ideal litigant” yet it routinely tries to find dirt on whistle blowers and, if all else fails, goes to court to portray them as a ‘disgruntled employee’ as if that negates the essence of the abuse exposed by said W/B.

  5. Steve777

    Somehow I imagine that if Duncan Storrar had declared in a public forum on National TV that he strongly supported the Coalition Government’s policies because they gave people like him ‘incentive’ to ‘work harder’ to ‘improve themselves’, the Murdochracy would have built him up as a fine exemplar of the ‘Aussie battler’, worthy of our admiration and praise. Maybe given him his own column.

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