So Kate Middleton and Prince William had a baby. Woop de doo. Hooray. Here’s a sticker! All sarcastic barbs aside, congratulations to the happy new parents and since it’s a media talking point at the moment and I do a blog about the way news media is presented in my publication of choice, the free railway station newspaper the Metro: a few thoughts on the way the Royal baby story has unfolded in the press.
Now, the difference between this royal event and the royal wedding between Kate and William is that unlike during the royal wedding where I seemed to be the only person sick of the endless coverage, the main talking point we seem to be hearing about the royal baby is that people are sick of the endless press coverage. That’s literally all I hear about it. Granted this may be due to the type of people I speak to on a daily basis and the media I consume but seriously, it’s not that hard to not give two shits about a certain news story.
When I have seen a link on the internet to a story about the royal baby, I haven’t clicked on it. When its come on the news, I’ve switched the TV off and gone and stared out of the window or made dinner or something. When people have started talking about it, I haven’t listened. When it’s been covered on the first twelve pages of the Metro, I’ve put it down. I’ve overheard approximately one conversation about it. The only reason I know she’s had the baby at all is it’s been on the front pages of newspapers and I had my eyes open while walking past a newsagent. It’s not that hard to be completely oblivious to something if you happen to not care about a story.
Yes, I agree with you that not being able to walk five metres without hearing something about the royal baby is a tad annoying. However there’s no point asking “why is there blanket media coverage of the royal baby?” when it’s kind of blatantly obvious that they’re endlessly covering the royal baby because journalists think that you care about it. If they were convinced you cared about something else, anything else, then they would dedicate thousands and thousands of hours to providing you with press coverage about that. Endless news coverage of stuff they think people care about is what they do and it is a big news story, they could have got their target audience completely wrong, maybe they care about different sorts of things to the royal baby.
We all know how and why the press works at proliferating stories to an absurd degree when there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot to those stories so just let it go and let them have their fun talking endlessly about the royal baby for the people that care.
At the same time for people that like to be cynical about the way news is presented, it’s been interesting to watch journalists try and make this story seem like it’s a fantastical magical event. I know I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been reiterated a thousand times but the royal family have basically been a tourist attraction for some time now. Now they’re essentially what makes Britain a likable country, they remind people of when we used to be a cute and quaint people that lived in hobbit holes and sent our knights to fight dragons and rescue princesses or something. Problem is it just seems to be the word “royal” that makes people interested. There’s been plenty of people pointing out that this is just the regular everyday miracle of birth here. A woman has a baby, something loads of people go through every day. Good for her. Problem is it’s the paparazzi that’s enthusing this, we should be blaming them for reporting on regular everyday stuff as though its something everyone should care about because they’re royalty who are better than us just because they are. Kate and William are probably nice enough people which is reason enough for someone to take an interest, but its the paparazzi that are to blame for their annoying ever presence in the media, not William and Kate themselves. Take this example from the Metro this morning for instance:
…wow, baby sits in car seat and people on twitter say some stuff, WELL WORTH THE MASSIVE BOLD HEADLINE! I know you’re meant to go “aww” because its a baby but…is this a bit of news? Page four in a newspaper is generally meant to be for news stories. Its worth the massive bold headline because its assumedly a royal car seat. Paid for by a royal credit card at a branch of mothercare whose shop assistants are supposedly by royal appointment…ooh aren’t I clever and funny? Yeah I know I’m not the only one pointing this out and the endless people pointing out how ordinary and everyday current royal activities are and the silly over-exaggeration of it by the press is rather ridiculous. I however find it entertaining from a journalistic criticism standpoint because royal press coverage seems to just use simple buzzwords like the word royal to make you interested in the fact this is a story you’re meant to care about rather than what’s actually happening in the story. A man has done a thing, a child has done a thing, its not interesting just because you say it is, you don’t know these people, there is no human element to this vicarious interest in the daily lives of the royals.
Wow, I’m so interested because the word royal appeared in an article more than twice.
So yeah. Royal Kate Middleton had a royal baby in a royal hospital….I literally can’t muster up any sort of opinion because I don’t know her and will never meet her. Good for her I guess and I wish her and her son well…but I would say the same to anyone that’s just had a baby whether I knew them and had a cause to like them as a person or not…so yeah…you can go back to doing whatever you were doing now…no seriously I don’t know what else I can say on the subject…and I can’t think of a closing sentence…
….bye…see you next entry I guess.