Vice Makes ‘Teaser’ Trailer for Interview w/ Eagles of Death Metal on #ParisAttacks Tragedy
When something incredible happens, tragic or otherwise, it’s the journalist’s job to report the story to the world. But where do we draw the line between how we deliver ‘news’ versus how we promote ‘entertainment’. Or is there a distinction anymore? Vice has clearly blurred that line, by creating a teaser trailer for an interview with witnesses of the most recent tragedy in Paris. A first hand account, told by Rockstars who witnessed the slaughter of some 89 concert goers during the November 13th Paris Attacks.
Vice is hyping their coverage with a trailer, as if it were any other exclusive interview or even a documentary or movie. There is a short teaser clip, where the lead singer of The Eagles of Death Metal says things like: “People were playing dead, they were so scared…”
On their Youtube Channel Vice calls the release of the full interview a “Premiere”
On Facebook, many were not amused that the coverage of the recent tragedy was being promoted like any other story, documentary, or film:
Facebook readers piled on, there are hundreds of negative comments.
To be fair Vice promotes many of its interviews and stories with short clips or ‘trailers’. And their int. coverage is in many ways exemplary. They are simultaneously the darlings of international news and it’s juggernaut. They are what young people are reading and watching while CNN flounders and FOX clings to the elderly demographic. VICE has grown from giving away its magazine in American Apparel stores to being the hottest media company in the last decade. (Fortune reported a valuation of $2.5 Billion this spring) But has Vice crossed a line here? If so, then what are the rules to reporting on tragedy, and selling news?
You have to admit, there is something that feels wrong about treating this interview and tragedy like any other news story or documentary. This isn’t ‘Opera interviews Lance Armstrong’, this is a first hand account of the slaughter of 89 people, a mere 2 weeks after they perished. Is it ‘too soon’, or is it just wrong to commercialize terror and tragedy in such a blatant way? To promote this incredibly sad interview the same way you would a summer movie. Because let’s be clear, news outlets sell tragedy everyday, it is just marketed to us differently.
As for me, I am going to watch that interview, definitely.