In the case of Anita Cumming, the Dunedin woman suffering from OCD and jailed for abusing her mother, Kyle MacDonald asks if the interest in her plight is a case of entertainment trumping our compassion.

It's human nature to be curious about others, and even more so things that might be considered odd, or outside the norm. We all long to peer over the neighbour's fence, and listen with guilty interest about what it is they argue about.

Much of the news industry plays on this, and in an even more distilled - or some might say cynical way