Amy Winehouse July 25th 2011

I couldn’t believe it when I heard the terrible news that Amy Winehouse had passed. A real eccentric artist. A wonderful voice, a voice that was filled with such power and pain. A beautiful unique girl, with talons of talent, misunderstood by the majority.  She was sweet and peculiar but most of all vulnerable. It was amazing to witness and follow how a “jazz singer” had achieved such cultural prominence. Publicly though, Amy increasingly became defined by her addiction. I think it’s safe to say that the media really can kill a person. I really believe that blessed Amy would still be with us today if it wasn’t for the media. Our media evidently appears to be more interested in tragedy than talent, as her creative gift began to deteriorate in the public’s eyes, only to be replaced by full focus on her addictions. All headlines featuring the name ‘Amy Winehouse’ developed into only being associated with drug abuse, destructive relationships, cancelled performances and blood soaked ballet slippers, replacing her timeless talent. Through her addiction and apparent obsession with drugs and former husband Blake performances and in fact any public appearances became vacant. However much it was dressed up and disguised, everyone could see that Amy was slowly disappearing as though wearing an un-ignorable veil, preventing connection. Watching Amy on the screen, it was as though she was looking through to somewhere else, always wishing she was withsomeone else. At the end of the day, all the media are focused on is making money by selling the best stories; they felt that the way to do this effectively was to intrude on the singer’s private life. I believe that Amy’s addiction worsened by the fact that she couldn’t have a private life to sort herself out. She wanted to prove the public wrong by showing that she didn’t need rehab help, that she had everything under control and could do what she wanted with her success.

Now Amy Winehouse is dead, like many others whose unnecessary deaths have been retrospectively romanticized. Whether this tragedy was preventable or not is now irrelevant. It is not preventable today. A wonderfully talented and beautiful woman has been lost, but I just hope that she will be eternally remembered for her musical talent, rather than her rational destructive lifestyle.  

It is events such as these that truly make me question whether or not I want to go forth with my journalism degree. I dream of travelling the world and meeting a huge variety of different people and reporting unconventional happenings to be made public to the rest of the world. But what journalists did to Amy is certainly not what I want to be. There is always going to be bad in the world but I believe that many events can be aided into not being as bad as we make them. The public get too involved in star’s public lives, causing stress, anxiety and eventually sometimes death. All we can do is adapt to the way we view these circumstances, realise that there is a boundary to what the public need to get involved in. We need to review the way society treats addicts, not as criminals but as sick people in need of care. Even though it may not be apparent at the time, we need to think about where intruding on particular situations could get us, and even more so, where it could get the personality involved. And this is what I will strive to do as a journalist.

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