Letter: Diana: memorial ideas, grief without tears, media manipulation

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The Independent Online
Sir: I have watched this week's media coverage of the death of Princess Diana with increasing bewilderment, scepticism and alarm. My main concern is how the mass media have managed to create a climate of mass public hysteria surrounding Diana's death, and what that says not only about the overwhelming power of the media but our vulnerability to be emotionally hijacked by the established forms of media.

Yes, there has been a genuine outbreak of grief for a young life cut short, but I feel that this has been magnified and manipulated by the media in the name of the same market-based thinking that led to the

tragedy in the first place. Balance, impartiality, and a sense of perspective have been thrown out of the window in pursuit of a shameless populism, which has allowed no space at all for any dissenting voices.

It all goes to show the conformist nature of our media, and surely points to the need actively to encourage new, independent forms of media, which do not slavishly follow each other, and allow a wider representation of public expression. Finally, the voyeurism which blighted Diana's life will be on ultimate display at the funeral.

I would suggest that as a gesture against the media totalitarianism we have seen this week, all independent-minded people should boycott the televised proceedings. It would not mean a lack of feeling or compassion, but it would mean that we refuse to be emotionally railroaded by the media in their crass attempts to tell us what to think and what to feel.

ALED JOB

Bryn-y-Mor, Gwynedd

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