Vietnam war
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Viewers 'unmoved' by bad news

An academic study suggests that people who are told about awful things happening abroad in the news often remain unmoved by the reports.

Aid agencies refer to so-called compassion fatigue, which means people do not feel sympathy for the victims of war or natural disaster indefinitely.

However, journalists argue that if reporters can find a way of bringing the reality of suffering home, then audiences may feel sufficiently moved to demand that something be done.

Jim Reed reports for BBC Newsnight.

  • 16 Jan 2014
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