On a particular day in the recent past, you may have turned on the 6 o’clock news bulletins to learn the news that Ben Cousins is going to jail. In fact, you were likely bombarded by the news for half an hour, including a ridiculous on-the-field spot from one TV network outside Hakea Prison. Despite the fact Cousins is, as of the time of writing, nowhere near Hakea.
As journalists, we’re expected to be critical of not just our own work, but the work of our peers on a daily basis. It’s an increasingly difficult thing to do, as the lines between journalist and blogger and real and fake news continue to blur.
Watching this tragic and needlessly drawn-out chapter of Cousins’ life come to an end, it’s troubling to see the man walking, face to the pavement, outside yet another court hearing. Prison is clearly going to be a hard slog for Cousins, but there is a silver lining: maybe the isolation from his vices, and the media, will give him the piece of mind he needs.