People have grown so used to tragedy on TV news it has turned them into “doom voyeurist” tourists who visit places where horror has occurred, a university sociologist has claimed.
In a research paper to be delivered later this summer, Dr Frank Faulkner from Derby University said watching wars and disasters on television is no longer enough for some people.
“In a televisual world, where scenes of death and disaster are part of our daily audio-visual diet, it is perhaps not surprising that elements of society seek to transport the self away from the mundane spectacle of hierarchical newsreel,” Faulkner said.
He talked of “the thrill-seeking individuals who delight in misery and chaos, blood and death, and funereal atmospheres”.
Faulkner said the doom voyeurists’ choice of sites could include some that “challenge our views on what is, or is not, morally acceptable”.
Such sites include war-torn zones such as Bosnia and Rwanda. There have also been reports of people gawping at piles of skulls in Cambodia.