Friday, May 18, 2007

Media continues Algarve vigil

As the days pass the 24 hour news media becomes more and more concerned about the plight of their little viewers that have recently been tragically lost, or abducted by less sensational news sources.

Reporters are combing the Algarve, frantically searching for any story or rumour with which they can get a thousand words of speculation or 5 minutes to camera.

“It’s such an appalling tragedy. These poor little viewers are sitting at home knowing exactly what they need to know. “ said Mary Billingsworth of Sky News. “However for us here in Portugal, standing on street corners, we have a soap opera to create and no one, least of all the Portuguese Police are fuelling our speculation.”

Commentators throughout the Algarve are amazed that the local police are not scheduling their searches and investigations around the plight of the British journalists who have been separated from their offices and loved ones with only their expense accounts for company.

“We have a little blonde news ticker that scrolls across our screen. It needs to be looked after and given the care and attention it needs,” explained a tearful Ms Billingsworth. “One can only imagine the horror and frustration being experienced at our parent’s news desk.”

Indeed the frustration is causing many people to search frantically around for any sighting of a retired former British Police Officer in the area, or even just someone with a small child, who might be able to do a few minutes on camera and, if possible, burst into tears.

“We are doing everything we can to raise awareness of our coverage. We have big graphics teams searching out new pictures to grotesquely splash across the screens in the hope of finding some new viewers. We are struggling though with the mindset that the local law enforcement officers are in fact a bunch of incompetent yokels who are new to policing.“

The topic of conversations, by the pools and in the bars of this otherwise quiet holiday resort that has become the centre of media activity, is the same - “When is the next news conference?”. There are desperate scenes as frantic reporters and distraught producers try to eke out five minutes, live on air, about a conversation with a shopper in a supermarket about how little speculation there has been.

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