In the first interview with 2Day FM DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian following the tragic suicide of nurse Jacintha Saldanha, the DJs describe how they feel “shattered, gutted, heartbroken” about what has happened and how their deepest sympathies are with the family of Mrs Saldanha.
In this fourteen minute long interview on A Current Affair broadcast on Australian TV station Channel 9, the DJs discuss how terrible they feel following in the wake of the tragedy that has occurred.
They describe how the prank call was never intended to humiliate or make fun of the nurses, and that they had not even expected it to get as far as receiving details about the Duchess of Cambridge’s condition. They expected that this call would result in them being hung up on within about 30 seconds due to the poor accents they had put on.
Since the death of Mrs Saldanha, three days ago which has been reported as a suicide, there has been a huge backlash against 2Day FM, its parent company, and especially the two Australian DJs who made the prank call. There have been calls across the internet for action to be taken against Greig and Christian including for them to be sacked from the station and for legal action to be taken against them. Much more disturbing are the death threats and campaign of hatred against the two that has emerged in the wake of the tragedy.
Opinion seems to be quite split between the UK and Australia though, with many in the UK who feel that the two are at least to some extent guilty of the nurse’s suicide whilst in Australia a majority of those polled believe that Grieg and Christian should not be held accountable.
What has happened certainly raises major questions about pranks played by those in the media on unsuspecting members of the public. Other issues have been raised including the role of the media in their handling of stories. In the UK when news broke about the fact that details had been wrongly acquired from the nurses the hospital was blamed but focus has shifted dramatically to the actions of the DJs following Mrs Saldanha’s death. Within the interview there is also a focus on the prank call and how it was handled after being made. Grieg and Christian both suggest that they have little idea of the process that is involved in deciding whether or not to air content.
The huge amount of online hatred levelled at the DJs and the fact that individuals seem so comfortable to air extreme viewpoints highlights the issues related to the open nature of the internet.
Should this mean an end to media pranks or should there just be better judgement made?
Source: [A Current Affair]