It’s a big bad world with seemingly endless bad news.
Here’s a snapshot of the BBC news home page from a couple of weeks ago. There was just the one good news story, a few on politics, but mainly bad news. ‘Five injured after crush at Celtic v Rangers game’, ‘School hit in huge Somali explosion (3 dead)’, ‘Boy shot by taser suffers cardiac arrest’ and ‘Presenter reveals school sexual harassment’.
A near miss did make the home page, ‘Wrong way driver, 87, failed eye test’, presumably as it was vaguely amusing, as was the bizarre, ‘Seoul to check toilets daily for cameras’. The one good news story? ‘Girl’s retirement surprise for grandad’ – and no, it wasn’t new specs for the wrong way driver.
Elsewhere, the stories that didn’t make the BBC home page were a horrific crocodile attack in Uganda where a woman and her baby were killed and surprisingly for the BBC, the news that Bono had lost his voice (possibly because they had already had their good news story).
That was just the one day. The Littlewood Pools building went up in smoke the next day and so it continues… But these are just the ones that made the national news, locally around the country there were hundreds of ‘lesser’ stories, many involving personal tragedy to individuals and their families.
Interestingly, the national media do not seem to regard road accidents as ‘newsworthy’ unless it involves the likes of a multiple pile up or a celebrity, but they are routinely reported in the local media. Despite an average of 71 people being killed or seriously injured on our roads every day, it was just the wrong way driver story that made the BBC homepage and no mention of any other road accidents. News that a man was airlifted to hospital following a collision in Worthing that day was reported locally and no doubt there were similar stories elsewhere in the County and around the UK. However, as I have said here on numerous times in the past, we just seem to accept this as part of life, so the national media do not deem it newsworthy. But when you see the seemingly unstoppable anti-plastic crusade resulting from the BBC’s Blue Ocean documentary, what would be the effect if they spent a week or so highlighting the daily carnage on our roads?
However, whatever the priorities of the media, the victims of many of these bad news stories will be reliant on insurance, either involving the payment of policy benefits to those affected, compensation resulting from a legal liability or for legal and other costs involved in defending those charged with criminal, financial or behavioural impropriety.
Most of us are lucky that we generally get through life without too much trauma, but every day some are in the wrong place at the wrong time with the ensuing personal tragedies to individuals and their families. Insurance can at least provide some financial comfort.