The world has been steadily watching the Kate/Nurse/Australian DJ Saga unfold over the last few days, and if I’m completely honest, I can sympathize with all of the parties involved. It might be a little controversial to feel sorry for the DJs which have apparently contributed to the suicide of a young nurse, but looking at it from a completely un-biased perspective, we’re all human, we all make mistakes. Of course, we just don’t expect them to unfold in quite the way they have done in this situation.
For those of you that haven’t been following, the story started with two Australian DJs on 2Day FM, Mel Greig and Micheal Christian, who rang up the hospital Kate was being treated at for acute morning sickness, impersonating the Queen and Prince Philip. Despite their impressions being completely over the top, they managed to get through to the hospital, where nurse Jacintha Saldanha put the pranksters call through to the ward Kate was being treated in, where another nurse then proceeded to give away intimate details about Kate’s condition.
The hospital was then deeply criticized by the media for security breaches, and giving away private information about the Duchess, without actually confirming they were speaking to her highness. It was then reported that yesterday, Jacintha, the nurse who put the call through, was found dead outside the hospital after a suspected suicide. It’s a story that has unfortunately unfolded in such a way that all three parties involved are suffering, yet really there’s no finger to point – as all parties (aside from the royals of course) were also to blame.
I personally feel as though the excitement of Kate’s pregnancy, which her and William were trying to keep a secret until Christmas day, when they could make the big announcement (and give an extra exciting Christmas present to the nation), has been completely over-shadowed by this whole saga, which is really sad. Buckingham Palace made a statement regarding the fact they didn’t complain about the security breach and that they were perfectly happy about the care they received, so it’s a shame that Kate’s pregnancy is at the forefront of this ordeal, when really she and her relatives should be able to focus on her recovery and enjoy the news.
In many ways, the blame of this tragic news story lies with the DJ’s, who started the chain of events that lead to an innocent nurse taking her own life. The two DJ’s, who are now apparently in hiding, with one on the point of breakdown, have been attacked with a barrage of abuse from the public, who claim they should resign from their jobs, pay the funeral costs for Jacintha and make a public apology. Whilst I don’t think these ideas are necessarily a bad idea, I do feel a little for the DJ’s, as they have been presented as evil figure-heads of this ordeal, when really and truly, it was only supposed to be a prank call, a light hearted bit of fun.
They hadn’t broken any laws in making the phone call, and the reason it made headlines was because intimate details were given, which really was the fault of the hospital. Now, I’m not saying the DJ’s aren’t to blame, but it seems a little unfair to suddenly attack them for a prank call, when the events that unfolded were the result of the hospital falling for the joke. Yes, perhaps it was a little unsavory to impersonate the queen, however I’m sure such a prank has been done before.
In fact, yes of course a prank similar has been undertaken before. There are TV shows and radio stations galore to prove this fact. Shows like ‘Phonejacker’, Nick Grimshaw’s ‘Call or Delete’ Radio 1 show, Balls of Steel and Trigger Happy TV all feature pranks, which the British public find utterly hilarious (I can assume). Are these condemned, subject to a barrage of abuse and sponge in media attention? Um, no. Although, yes – perhaps the DJ’s prank was a little higher on the risk level, however it didn’t have any malicious intentions and I’m certain they didn’t in-vision the result it had.
So, what I’m trying to say is perhaps we shouldn’t immediately point the finger upon direction of the media. Consider both sides of the story. Consider the fact they are human. I’m sure we can all think of a time or occasion where our actions non-intentionally resulted in a stream of events we didn’t expect. Maybe one of our jokes hurt someone’s feelings by mistake, or maybe our words made someone upset without realizing. Maybe, we have been involved in a prank that hasn’t quite had the outcome we expected. I’m not saying what they did was right, but we all make mistakes. I guess we’re all just lucky we haven’t been subject to a media campaign to follow our mistakes. After all, it’s mistakes that we learn from, right?
Of course, I’m not condemning the act at all and I do feel utmost sympathy for Jacintha’s family and friends, who unfortunately are having to deal with the most upsetting result of the whole ordeal. To lose a relative just before Christmas and in light of a prank must be absolutely awful, however the fragility of Jacintha’s state of mind following the prank does pose the question, what support (if any) was being given to her by the hospital.
In my eyes, if I’m laying any secure blame at all, it is the fault of the media, who constantly bombarded the public with brash, over the top headlines, putting the blame and humiliation on the nurse and the hospital, even making a joke out of the radio DJ’s act, some publications even taking their side. Until you are subject to media coverage, humiliation and the barrage of attention you receive from it, I don’t think anyone can understand how frightening it can seem to just an ordinary member of the public. In today’s world, once the media has forcefully portrayed something to the public, the public attack too – usually in a stream of social media messages and tweets. I can’t fully understand how terrifying it must be (for the DJ’s, for the nurses and for the hospital) because fortunately, I haven’t yet been subject to such media attention, however I think the media’s way of sensationalizing every story, without care of who it might affect, needs to change. And they, really and truly, are the real culprits of this ordeal.