Media and Dementia

I often think that the media should be more careful about what they write or comment on when it comes to dementia and other medical conditions.

This is because they seem to have a cavalier approach to any articles they write, and totally forget those with these illnesses.

In Dementia we are always hearing about miracle cures, which then disappear completely.

Surely before they write an article they should check it out with another research body, to see if it is what they claim.

These claims only raise peoples hopes, and then leave them in the dark, which is very wrong.

We really do need more dementia friendly news reporters, who understand that we get upset if they raise our hopes with these miracle cures only to find that they are in many cases untrue, or so far off that it will have little or no effect on those living with the illness

The media also have weird ideas about interviewing people with dementia, and still use the terms we all object to like service user, which is also used for drug addicts. Or they say sufferer, another term which gets many very upset, because sufferer means someone in severe pain etc.

When they interview people with dementia they are so much of a hurry that they ask questions and then try to answer them for us which is totally dis respective. If they give us the chance to think the question through we can answer for ourselves.

 Sometimes I have noticed they interviewers ask a lot of questions, and then the editor changes everything to suit themselves so the story is totally different to what was out over in the first place.

But I think that this is because many media outlets only want their own stories. I have had the pleasure to work with many over the years, yet the ones who really cared and did dementia stories properly are usually local where they are genuinely interested in the person, and not themselves.

One such company is ITV Tyne Tees, who really look into the project first before going head long into a long interview with too many questions. They usually use brilliant reporters, who know about the illness and spent time putting you at ease before starting.

Another local newspaper in the North East is the Northern Echo who use very good reporters of a high standard, who are caring and understanding. What is more the editors in these two companies do not change the story for their own benefit which is good.

I think good quality local reporters are much better at putting our story over that the national ones, simply because they care about local people and local issues

If you are involved with television media, they always say look at the camera and not the reporter, which is fine until they start asking questions, and then you automatically look at the person asking the questions.  They never understand that we want to listen to what is said, and usually that means looking at the person speaking to you

But its up to those with the illness, to try to get better treatment from the press, and attempt to force through good quality guidelines, so we stop hearing words and phrases that we do not like.



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