The deep sadness in the above headline does not inform us in any meaningful way. It tell us nothing useful about the word in which we must live and cope daily. To share the deepest thoughts of a human being in a moment of the most awful trauma is tasteless, exploitative and deeply cynical. No school of journalism would approve of such writing.
While this might be expected in the trash press, the Herald was once a more respectable thing.
We often think of titillation in terms of sexual behaviour but it applies more generally to the excitement of the senses and the emotions by the use of words designed to trigger strong empathetic feelings of sadness, fear or disgust.
The Herald is one of those Scottish newspapers which recently begged for government support as sales plummeted. Their justification was based on the notion that they help keep the public informed. I doubt the Government ministers were thinking:
Yes keep me informed of any victims who call out for their mother as the lie dying.
Covert Tory Councillor and ‘journalist’ John Mclellan led the calls. He does not tend to titillate much but rather just writes Tory press releases and gets them published as if they were real journalism:
Here are the details of the scheme which does not request any titillation:
The Scottish government has announced a £3m advertising boost in the form of a public health information partnership for newspapers in Scotland. National, regional and community titles operating in Scotland are set to benefit from the scheme which will highlight the ‘vital role’ played by the newspaper industry in informing the public about coronavirus developments. Scottish titles will run ads in addition to those as part of the UK-wide ‘All in, all together’ campaign. The UK government has confirmed that it will continue to run this scheme in Scotland as well as the additional support given by the devolved government. Kate Forbes, Holyrood’s cabinet secretary for finance said in a tweet announcing the spend:
“Scotland’s newspaper industry plays a vital role informing the public on COVID-19 developments and its impact. The Scottish government will continue to share public health messages in Scottish papers and on their digital sites.” Scottish Newspaper Society director John McLellan told the SoE he welcomes the campaign: “The SNS is delighted that the Scottish Government will be investing in our titles and it is recognition of the key role our titles play in communicating effectively with communities up and down Scotland.