Posted by Taylor Siedlik
The death of Margaret Thatcher on April 8, 2013 graced headlines around the world and garnered the attention of millions on Twitter. Soon, Thatcher’s death was trending and journalists began scrambling to report on the death of the only female and longest serving prime minister of Britain. The handling of this news by a variety of journalists ultimately showed different opinions on the matter.
NBC News staff writer Erin McClam began her article by stating a quote from current Prime Minister David Cameron. “Margaret Thatcher didn’t just lead our country — she saved our country.” Rather than focusing on how a variety of citizens viewed Thatcher’s policies during her time in power, McClam reported on current leaders’ praise for Thatcher and all she was able to accomplish. Granted, she did report on all aspects including reasons for Thatcher leaving the office, which allowed the readers to finalize and determine their own opinions on her.
On the flip side, news from the Telegraph, a UK news center, reported on the hundreds of “celebrators” rioting over the Iron Lady’s death resulting in the injury of police. Anti- Thatcher graffiti and banners reading “Rejoice, Thatcher is dead” found their ways onto Twitter as hundreds took to the street. Protestors relishing in the death of Thatcher was the only focus of this article and indeed painted the picture that all of Britain was joyous that the perceived witch was finally dead.
Journalists taking care to report on the death of prominent figures was one debate that figured into Thatcher’s death. Should they focus on the good that was done, even though it was highly unpopular at the time? Or should the disrespectful opinions be allowed, no matter if the figure is now deceased?