Last week I posted some displeasure about raising the bar on media standards and how we, as the general public, should demand a little more than being allowed to get dumbed down.
In response, I received the email below from Niall McCann, adventurer and biologist extraordinaire who in the past has been subject to inventive headlines such as ‘Naked Rowers Set New Record’ and ‘Monster Snake Captured’.
Despite this, I respect Niall greatly! Here were his thoughts:
I totally agree with your rant, and just wanted to say that i’m planning on doing something about it with my career. I’m speaking to the execs at Discovery Europe in 3 weeks time, and one of the things i’m going to talk about is their responsibility as broadcasters to convey virtuous messages, to foster an interest in the natural world, to inspire their viewers to do good things with their lives. I was delighted that they did a show last year that included Chris Martin and Mick Dawson’s utterly sensational Pacific Ocean row. Finally proper adventuring received a bit of coverage. I’m going to drum this home to them as much as possible.
I’ve got my first series coming out very soon, and they gave it a disgraceful name that sums up all that is wrong with the media. It’s a show about legendarily dangerous animals that are suffering extinction threats at the hands of mankind. In the show I talk a lot about conservation, about human/animal conflict and about the ecology of the species’ (as well has having outstanding adventures with each one, of course!), and what did they call it? Biggest and Baddest. It kills me. I have to give it to them though, it’s catchy, and once we’ve got people watching then hopefully the messages i went to such pains to deliver will become clear.
One of the things i most want to do with my career is to help rescue celebrity, to wrest celebrity back from the morons and narcissists we see parading around on our screens today, and return it to where it belongs: in the hands of those people doing genuinely great things for the betterment of the world. It’s some ask, but why not try?
Righto Dave i’ll leave you there, i’m going to re-tweet your article (i don’t really know how to do that, my PR people are getting me to do all of this stuff and I still don’t have the foggiest idea how most of it works!) and then get on with trying to identify mitochondrial primers for tapir faecal samples.
Enjoy not swimming, and keep flying the flag.
> Visit Niall’s website
> Watch his show, Biggest and Baddest. As well as being a super nice guy, Niall is one of the most exciting young talents in this field, it’s going to be a wonderful documentary, don’t miss it.