Monday, February 29, 2016

Would YOU help a child actor being bullied in a newspaper set-up?


AT THE risk of coming over all Glenda Slagg - Undercover investigations using actors: Dontcha just love ‘em?  Undercover investigations using actors: That’s surely not right.
Enter stage left Britain’s newest daily newspaper The New Day which has a spread in its launch issue headlined ‘Would YOU help a child being bullied?’
The premise is quite straightforward. Four children acted out a bullying scene to see if ‘Good Samaritans might be a dying breed’ while a reporter and photographer lay in wait to see who intervened and who walked on by.
Among the women who did wade in one was left ‘very shaken by the confrontation’ and another admitted she was ‘scared’.
It makes for a good read with decent ‘real’ pictures too. But is it really something that journalism should be practising in these troubled times when the eyes of the world are on our activities?
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good set-up. Would the shiny unlocked bike get stolen? Would the ‘lost’ wallet be handed in? Been there, done that with both student journalists and reporters who didn’t want to go out on rainy days.
But putting people in a threatening situation with potentially explosive consequences might get a few post-Leveson tongues wagging.
Next week, we’re told in a trailer, we seem on safer ground. How did strangers react when an old lady struggled up the stairs with a heavy suitcase? (my question mark, by the way). We shall see…

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