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The truth, the whole truth and nothing but.

October 24, 2010

Piers Morgan's Life Stories

Last night, with a lack of entertaining programs on the television, I turned to Piers Morgan’s Life Stories on ITV, for what I believed would be some ‘light relief’. How wrong I was, for the show, instead, gave an honest and frank view into the emotional rollercoaster-ride that is the life of Cheryl Cole.

Despite Piers Morgan’s notorious reputation, I believe him to be a very skilled journalist and interviewer, never failing to provide audiences and readers alike with an honest and insightful view into the lives of various celebrities. Past mistakes aside, Mr Morgan has gone on to conquer the small screen in both the UK and the US, entertaining the masses with his quick quips and, more often than not, his brutally blunt opinions.

His interview with Cheryl Cole last night proved his ability to reach the heart of an interviewee’s emotions and he was able to coerce Ms Cole into talking about a number of clearly painful topics, not least her recent divorce from football star Ashley Cole.

During the interview, the ex-News of the World editor quizzed Ms Cole about a number of rumours about her life, which have surfaced in various publications over the last few months. It seems to me that exaggerated rumours and falsified ‘facts’ are an unavoidable part of life in the spotlight and it seems as though ‘Chezza’ is well aware of this and explained that she tries to avoid reading the majority of articles about herself. What this element of the show revealed, however, is that there is an unbelievable amount of false reporting in today’s media, false reporting which has lead to Ms Cole’s reputation being dragged mercilessly through the gutters over the past few weeks.

As student journalists we should take this episode as a warning about the power of public opinion, and the ability that our writing has to influence and change the way in which readers view a certain person or subject. Some of the rumours that have been written about Ms Cole really shocked me. Not because they were particularly cruel or malicious, but because they were so unbelievably ludicrous that even Cheryl herself was astounded that she was actually being asked for clarification as to whether they were true!

One clear example of ‘exaggerated reporting’ came in the form of an article, written by online reality TV blog, UnrealityTV. The article gave details about Cheryl Cole’s Life Stories episode, however there were a number of quotes within it which were clearly not in the broadcast, as noted by a number of readers:

Comments made in response to an article about Cheryl Cole's appearance on Piers Morgan's Life Stories

Throughout our journalism training I am sure that we will all be told numerous tricks of the trade which will undoubtedly vary between publications; how to get that amazing quote, how to find the perfect story and what slightly ‘dodgy’ journalistic techniques are entirely acceptable when finishing a truly great story. Despite everything that we might be told on our journey to that dream career, I believe integrity must remain an ever-present aspect of our reporting, lest we end up as the author of the ‘Cheryl Cole buys a £36,000 wind tunnel‘ article….

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Lobyouknowme permalink
    October 24, 2010 9:39 pm

    Nice post Charlie, but I rather suspect she’ll have ‘told all’ because she’d have:
    a) been paid a fuckload for this interview
    b) has a single out next week
    She did a similar one with The Sun on Sat with Gordon Smart. xxx

  2. Max Mallen permalink
    October 24, 2010 11:05 pm

    Charlie I totally agree with you. The way the media manipulates quotes (or in some cases make quotes up) is outrageous. Before reports Ashley Cole had cheated on Cheryl, they built their relationship up to be idyllic, yet the first sniff of a scandal and they will happily ruin a marriage. The media in the UK build are best talents up only to ruin them. It consistently happens and it’s not right. This has recently been done to Wayne Rooney, but a list of A-list celebrities have gone before him. As for Cheryl…WOW. In my eyes the girl can’t do wrong…but maybe I’m biased!

  3. October 25, 2010 9:46 am

    I watched the interview too. I was shocked to learn how ill Ms. Cole had truly been with Malaria. I am not totally convinced by her feigned naivite though. Yes, I think we often forget, she is only 27, but I believe that she has courted the media attention and continues to do so.

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