This is an unpublished column originally penned for Time Out Magazine.
In conclusion, Manila police lacked gear and training during August’s hostage crisis. Any further media commentary or sensational analysis which went beyond this simple statement was redundant, unnecessary and arguably dangerous.
Voyeuristic tabloids splashing a bloody corpse on their cover, cynical companies advertising their ‘condolences’ (complete with prominent logos) and opportunistic, diversion-hungry politicians were all beneficiaries of the media circus surrounding the bus hijacking. This hyper-attentive, intrusive press coverage – often dubbed ‘grief porn’ – was also seen during events such as Princess Diana’s death, Madeleine McCann’s disappearance and the murder of Anna Svidersky in Vancouver.