Thought For The Day #4327 March 2015
Broadcast 27th of March 2015 on BBC Radio Bristol
I always have mixed feelings when I hear about plane crashes in the news. On the one hand they are clearly tragic events. 150 human beings just like you and me died in the Germanwings crash this week, which is shocking and deeply sad. Yet on the other hand, plane travel is one of the safest forms of travel, so really I should be giving more of my attention to other forms of death. To put it in perspective over 4000 people on average will have died in road traffic accidents over the last 24 hours alone.
So why are plane crashes given such coverage? Of course I think it’s obvious really, they’re rare and dramatic. If I’m completely honest I notice that I have some morbid fascination with the terror of falling from the sky. Seeing the debris on the news and learning of the final audio recordings makes me wonder how I might react in those last frightening moments.
I wonder if it’s okay to have a morbid curiosity? Is it insensitive to those that have died? I think it’s a fine balance. There’s a danger that news agencies exploit the event in order to gain more viewers and therefore more money. This is clearly not good. Yet there’s also definitely an argument that we do need access to the gruesome details. After all death is something that we all have to face, so it’s utterly understandable that we’re curious about how other people die.
My thoughts are with all those who have lost someone close.