compassion fatigue

Did you know…

A script for an hour-long television documentary is usually no longer than 1500 words (approximately 5 1/2 pages- double spaced)?

Most daily television news programs are reconstructed not only in their volume, but also their complexity?  The average script for a news cast is written to be understood by the average 12 year old.

News cast will contain multiple visual images–used to draw out sympathy and emotional responses from the audience.

How many news stories have we seen of starving children, swollen bellies, fly-infested faces, hungry families…and no hope? We are taught to believe that certain parts of the world are simply destined to endure these hardships.

Did you know there is a complex debate as to whether a continual focus on emotive images of human suffering through television and other media can actually produce “compassion fatigue” both amongst journalists and their audiences?

We see so much suffering–and instead of becoming more aware, we get burnt out, worn out, guilty, and tired of seeing it. We turn it off and tune it out. Compassion fatigue.

Understanding Theology and Popular Culture


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