Friday, November 26, 2004

Too reasonable to print

Spent half an hour yesterday talking to a nice reporter on "Pulse", a medical magazine, about the underfunding of health services in our locality. She had picked up on the story that you read about here first - One Doc for 200,000 patients - cool.I go to a lot of pains to explain what is going on, and direct her to my website where it's all written down. She kindly reads her copy back. "Dr Lawson calls for more money for Out of Hours Services". (I wasn't really, but who couldn't do with more money. Let it stand). "He is worried about only having two doctors on at night". I asked her to add - "But he is reassured by the arrangements for a squad of back up GPs to be called out if the on call docs are overwhelmed". She says, "OK, I'll put it in, but the sub-editors will probably take it out because it sounds too reasonable".

What? "Too reasonable?" How can anything be "Too reasonable"? Especially in the field of public information?

Pulse is not a bad newspaper, it is just an average freebie medical newspaper that we refer to technically as a one of the "throwaways". Pulse just buys into the adversarial paradigm that underpins our media.

I once heard two experts on a radio programme agreeing with each other. You could hear the mounting panic and hysteria of the interviewer as he tried to manipulate them into disagreeing.

To a great extent, the media mould our minds. What a pity they go for division rather than consensus. Or reason.

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