Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Walking up from Green Lanes, flashing lights and police on Pemberton Road. The police officer said it was a stabbing and they were looking for a knife.

He also had a very resigned look and said it was happening every day all over London but the powers that be don't seem to care.

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It was "Putinesque contrary troll". Is that "anodyne and inoffensive"?

I wouldn't have posted it at all - at least not without some actual factual information.

I honestly think that part of the civic response to this should be finding someway to raise awareness of language and how our choice of words can effect perception.

For example if you look at the active topics in Harringay Online right now (so Sunday at 13.04)

There is stabbing, snatched, dangerous, barricaded.  All words that have negative connotations/collocations - even if the actual subject matter is just informative.  These are the words that then form the perceptions of our neighbourhoods.  (This is true also of any newspaper headline analysis that you might do, national or local - and any subject area you might want to look at.)  Each one as a single unit doesn't seem that problematic - but if you put them together you start to see how peoples perceptions get formed.  It's a community driven form of spin doctoring.

We as individuals need to change the discourse - but that is hard to do.

It's an interesting issue and as you imply one that has no easy answers. It's one I'll be interested to take part in however.
I'm sorry I disagree. I would rather have the information than not.

and therein lie the horns of the dilemma.

You now have the information about how many deaths in London are caused by busses. I challenge you to do something about it. This is why we drink.

I agree - if anything there's not enough information. I think that part of the problem is the very poor level of local news coverage in this area, meaning community sites are forced to double as news outlets. One of the main reasons I come to this site is to find out more about local news.

Agree. I can take the good news as well as the bad. "stabbing, snatched, dangerous, barricaded"... its the Crime, Scams, & Policing thread!

Genuinely very thought provoking posts Judith  

If I ever get to be a dictator, one of my edicts will be that all forms of media have to print a standard statistical context box directly underneath the headline. So any headline about a violent, accidental or medical death is followed by a box giving the top 10 causes of death for that age group and the eqivalent rank for this death, any headline about religious fanatics shows what percentage of each of the major religions' followers are estimated to hold fanatical beliefs, any headline about a possible new health risk has to show this in context of the top 10 known lifestyle risks, etc

Sadly i'm not yet dictator, but the principle is worth considering.

Alternatively, before posting a juicy local horror, ask oneself "why am I posting this? Do I feel the need to post when I hear about a good thing happening to an individual I dont know? If not, why is this different?"

( incidentally, this book goes a long way to answering the last question: https://www.google.jo/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=htt... - basically we are programmed to assign more significance to the unusual, the bad and the anecdotal vs the everyday, the good and statistical data. The media, social media and personal chat/gossip therefore favours the former, and we end up with a society which completely misjudges risk, worries about things which really arent a big problem, and even worse does nothing about the real dangers)

Not quite sure what point you're making, but those are interesting stats. Sounds like a Hollywood blockbuster of the future, The Wrath of the Killer Lawnmowers. As to people 'shot by another American' a good proportion of those of course are 'friendly fire' incidents. There's the famous story of the American man who was installing a satellite dish outside his house. When he realised he didn't have a drill he decided to shoot a hole into the wall with his gun - but the bullet went straight through the wall, killing his wife



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