Judy Finnigan says TV news is 'wallowing in tragedy' in coronavirus reporting

Judy Finnigan attends The London Evening Standard Theatre Awards at The Old Vic Theatre on November 13, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Judy Finnigan attends The London Evening Standard Theatre Awards at The Old Vic Theatre on November 13, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Judy Finnigan has accused TV news of "wallowing in tragedy" by reporting "non-stop images of such raw mourning and loss" in regard to the effects of the coronavirus.

The 71-year-old has questioned the amount of interviews of bereaved relatives shown on the news and suggested it only leads to "despair" for those watching.

Writing in her column in the Daily Express, she opined: "I'm sorry to say it, but sometimes if feels uncomfortably as if TV news is wallowing in tragedy, not simply reporting it."

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Finnigan expressed her agreement with journalist and member of the think tank Policy Exchange, David Goodhart, who wrote in The Times last week that there was "too much emotion" on the news.

Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan attend a BAFTA tribute evening to long running TV show "This Morning" at BAFTA on October 1, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)
Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan attend a BAFTA tribute evening to long running TV show "This Morning" at BAFTA on October 1, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

She continued: "Do we really need to be shown so many interviews with the terribly distressed relatives of those who've lost their struggle with the virus? Surely we all know what grief does to us? It makes us weep; it makes us despair.

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"I'm not sure it's the job of news programmes to endlessly confront us with seemingly non-stop images of such raw mourning and loss."

Finnigan remarked that in "our society" grief is "a private thing" and that repeatedly showing several items on it during one news programme was "exploitative".

NHS staff at the Mater hospital in Belfast, during a minute's silence to pay tribute to the NHS staff and key workers who have died during the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Peter Morrison/PA Images via Getty Images)
NHS staff at the Mater hospital in Belfast, during a minute's silence to pay tribute to the NHS staff and key workers who have died during the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Peter Morrison/PA Images via Getty Images)

The former This Morning host also bemoaned the "finger-wagging" from newsreaders in being told how to behave.

As of Friday afternoon, a total of 27,510 people in the UK were confirmed to have lost their lives to the coronavirus.

The toll remains the second worst official count in Europe behind Italy, ahead of Spain and France according to John Hopkins University.