There’s something truly sad, and rather depressing, about the media appearances by the disconsolate father and stepmother of Becky Watts, the Bristol teenager brutally killed by her step-brother, aided by his girlfriend, in the wake of their convictions. As consultants to individuals facing the most tumultuous of times, there are moments when compassionate advice is all about saving clients from themselves. Of course there’s huge media interest in such a despicable tale, and I’m sure they have handled the family with as much sensitivity as individuals, working for large media organisations in a highly competitive environment, ever can.
Does the public really need to watch first-hand a family ripped, but fortunately not (yet) broken, by such tragedy? Is there not something more powerful about leaving us to only imagine the difficulties they are having to face and overcome, amidst the grief, guilt, anger and betrayal they must feel. There were words in the family’s statement alluding to the distaste among the extended family at the fact of people making money out of murder, presumably referring to those within the fold being paid to tell their tales.
If there were ever a need to exert greater control over our media, I would venture to suggest it is in times of tragedy. I hope time away from the exhausting and relentless media spotlight eventually brings this family healing and at least a modicum of peace that anyone in their ghastly situation truly deserves.
13 November 2015