I don’t usually like to pre-judge content before I have had the opportunity to see it…. but I have to say I am decidedly unimpressed with promos for Seven News in which Charlotte Dawson is confronting Twitter trolls tonight, seemingly in some kind of name and shame exercise.
It wasn’t that long ago that Dawson was hospitalised following relentless online abuse.
In my view all the parties should know better than to go down this road as Television. How is provocation via the media really that far removed from online abuse?
What would be their duty of care should one of those people also end up in hospital?
Seven News was itself accused of abusive behaviour when covering the death of Molly Lord in a quad biking accident in July. It took a grieving mother and outraged social media users to name and shame Seven for that act.
I’m also unclear how confronting trolls constitutes ‘News’ -are they reporting the news, or creating it? I suspect it would be better placed in a public affairs show such as Today Tonight, at least that is designed to tackle hot topics in society.
There is so much in the mainstream media that constitutes provocation and abuse that this feels like a very thin line.
At least Insight on SBS had a considered, contextual debate on the topic last week instead of a brief confrontationalist approach.