By Thomas Maddocks
“There’s nothing else interesting on today?” Geoffrey Edelsten jeers as he approaches the Victorian Supreme Court.
To which the reporter replies in an equally sarcastic tone: “I think it’s a required news day.”
“I suppose any job is better than nothing. I don’t know how you guys sleep at night,” Geoffrey finishes.
It is ironic (and rare) that the man at the centre of the media attention can shine a light back unto the media in such a brief but poignant exchange.
Channel 10’s raw footage of Dr. Edelsten entering the Victorian Supreme Court yesterday probably wasn’t seen by many yet I feel it places a question of ethics firmly back in the hands of the journalist.
In the wash-up of Brynne’s My Bedazzled Life pilot episode Thursday of last week, the media has turned its attention to Dr. Edelsten’s civil trial over an American woman he met on the internet, and the month-long separation between Geoffrey and Brynne in March after things got a little physical.
But who cares? And what is the responsibility of the journalist here? Is this “required” news?
Geoffrey and Brynne are clearly a source of constant amusement for journalists and public alike but with a tone like this, why bother to report it?
“Geoffrey Edelsten has, of course, been in the news recently.” And whose fault is that?
Perhaps television ratings can tell us more.
The first episode of My Bedazzled Life averaged 930,000 viewers. Last nights second episode managed only 809,000. This is despite the news of Edelsten’s court case.
So does this mean we don’t care? Or just care less?
While they garnered much social media attention, The Shire and Being Lara Bingle are examples of underwhelming reality TV. Big Brother is lagging behind its past numbers, too.
Given this discrepancy between public interest and news reporting, do journalists have a responsibility to mediate content according to what people want? Where do we draw the line?
“I didn’t want to throw my slippers at the TV screen as I watched it. Instead, I wanted to scrape all that make-up off, pull her hair back into a ponytail and just hug her.”
It almost reminds me of Margie Abbott’s pathetic attempt to overthrow the publics tendency to ’scratch the surface.’
‘The Other Mike of Adelaide’ wrote: Not buying it Melissa, I’m 99% certain this will be as shallow and vapid as the Bingle trainwreck.
I’m with you Other Mike. But I’m also with Geoffrey, too. Journalists need to sleep well at night and omitting news of Brynne and Geoffrey could prove just the tonic.