Up for Debate: Media response to Newtown tragedy

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 12:14am

What are your reactions to how the media reported the fatal Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings? How do you feel about the inevitable reports that name and show the alleged suspects in such mass shootings, particularly when it's done so alongside phrases that essentially rank the events based on deadliness? Is that an acceptable media practice or does it just encourage others to try to do worse? Finally, do social media sites — Twitter, Facebook and others — help or hurt the public discourse in such cases?

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Up for Debate

124 Comments on this post:

By: Ask01 on 12/18/12 at 6:19

Is the media really any different from the average people one encounters on the street?

Think about it.

People feel the need to share information about events, good or bad, but especially bad. Other people want to know what is happening. Thus, information and sadly, disinformation spreads quickly.

WE, being human, encourage this because we tune in and clamor for more.

This will naturally lead to some wrong information being reported as everyone repeats what they have heard, or thought they heard.

Ever hear the phrase, "If it bleeds, it leads?" This is a guideline for news media (and people in general) because, any event which elicits strong emotional response will draw people in. Whether driven by morbid curiosity, outrage, a feeling of thankfulness for being spared, the citizenry wants to hear about these happenings, no matter how horrendous. The more terrible, the more demand there is for news.

The news will get out. If another is inclined to imitate the act or do worse, they may do so sooner, but I believe they would have eventually acted with or without the added impetus.

I find people need to discuss these issues to get their feelings and emotions out. Some seek validation of the way they feel while others, I believe, just need to vent, to find a relief valve for their emotions. Facebook and Twitter have replaced the party line, (remember those?) the back yard fence, barber shop, and other traditional outlets as places to exchange views and swap gossip.

The only difference I see is people are less civil and more prone to be rude and call others names online. I believe the anonymity is a positive aspect, encouraging true opinions, rendering the rudeness factor an inevitable byproduct. We just have to ignore those incapable of civil discussion and not ever address them.

Boards such as this provide an invaluable service making available an outlet for views and opinions so citizens can freely express feelings without worrying about retribution or acts of physical violence from those less able to verbally express themselves.

By: yogiman on 12/18/12 at 7:25

While it was obviously a devastating event, no other news seems to have happened since that cruel event because that is the only news that's been announced since it happened. We shall never forget it but other events of the world are continuing.

The public would also like to be told about them.

By: gdiafante on 12/18/12 at 7:27

My issue with the media in this case, is that they seemed to be competing against each other to be first with the scoop, and in doing so misidentified the shooter. I understand the "breaking news" event, but if you're going to show someone's picture as having just killed 26 people, you better be damned sure you're right.

Now, not only does Ryan Lanza have to deal with the fact that he lost his brother and mother, he has to deal with the people who thought he was the murderer. That's lazy journalism, IMO. These organizations should have some discretion and integrity. If CBS has identified someone, but you can't confirm, then don't and be honest about it. Some networks have identified someone as the shooter but (fill in network) is unable to confirm this at this time.

How hard is that?

Also, interviewing children is crossing the line. Yes, CNN made a point to say the parents gave permission, but it just didn't seem in good taste. Whether that's the network's problem or parents in shock who didn't think it out, it was very troubling to see a microphone stuck in a face of a terrified child.

By: parnell3rd on 12/18/12 at 7:34

Here is the Media's non-response to an off duty policewoman working as a security guard in San Antonio, Texas. It happenned two days ago, she saved lives by using her gun and shooting the suspect, injuring him.
The only media telling the story is local news and the huffington post.
Where is the national media on this story?
I guantee it would be a nation story if the suspect had killed people, but since he did not and a gun was used to stop a crime the media will ignore it!

By: parnell3rd on 12/18/12 at 7:35

Yall have a great day! To the few people here with good commen sense, don't let the libtards get you down. They are ignorant humman beings!

By: gdiafante on 12/18/12 at 8:10

Actually Parnell that story has been reported. What it shows is that a trained police officer is better equiped to stop a nutjob than Joe Schmo, the average gun owner. In fact, where was Joe Schmo during this entire event?

FYI: learn to spell...it's embarrassing.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/18/12 at 8:21

The NRA sure would have liked the news media out of it. The face of the children victims has put them in a bad spotlight.

So to answer your question no.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/18/12 at 8:28

p3' s rants are typical for a paranoia right-wing fringe crazy. The little feller runs about in such a frenzy and tell the world of it's demented fears. I almost feel sorry for it's incredible miserable life.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/18/12 at 8:36

OK, why in the world were reporters interviewing children during this horrible event? Seriously! Have some respect.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/18/12 at 8:43

I would like to take a moment to express my gratitude to the tea party. Thank you for destroying the electability of the GOP. It's more than the Democrats could have ever accomplished.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/18/opinion/zelizer-tea-party/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

By: yogiman on 12/18/12 at 8:46

Mass murders always happens in gun free zones. The killers are so stupid they will go into areas well know to have armed citizens.

www.conservativeactionalerts.com/2012/12/newtown-gun-free-zones-invite-mad-mass-murderers-say-law-officers/

How many children's lives would have been saved if some, or someone, in the school facility had been armed?

By: bfra on 12/18/12 at 8:49

Nothing like making a statement, then contradicting it in the same paragraph! LOL

By: yogiman on 12/18/12 at 8:53

So, is the Tea Party in the program with the Democratic Party, B2? I see where Barry is going to sign a new martial law bill.

Are you prepared for their takeover? If you're familiar with martial law, read it and weep.

www.conservativeactionalerts.com/2012/12/obama-signing-new-martial-law-bill/

And the [Usedtobe] Republicans have become twins with the Democrats is the
Same Party" group.

By: gdiafante on 12/18/12 at 8:55

How insane is it to think that the answer is to arm Kindergarten teachers? What's next? Pre-K assault weapon training for kids? Why not just require weapons training at birth, that way when they do get to Kindergarten, they're considered lethal weapons.

Better yet, just abolish the education system and institute nothing but military schools that way all our kids will be trained killers and then, when a nut starts to go on a rampage, the only issue will be how many kids rip him apart...

God bless Amurka...

By: bfra on 12/18/12 at 8:58

Blanket - The parents should not have allowed any media interviews.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/18/12 at 9:00

Well, I'm sure the parents were in a state of shock and not exactly able to make decisions so I really don't hold them responsible. My god, they just found out that their kid was still alive. Can you image their state of mind?

By: bfra on 12/18/12 at 9:01

And the media takes every advantage of that!

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/18/12 at 9:02

Yes, they do.

By: gdiafante on 12/18/12 at 9:02

I can only imagine mine, blanket, and it wouldn't include exploiting my child, which is exactly what they were doing. Maybe a month, six months down the road, once the child has been given the proper psychological help...

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/18/12 at 9:05

g, I would probably beat the hell out of someone trying to interview my child after that. Who knows, though. People respond differently but I suppose there are those parents who will allow their child to be exploited.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/18/12 at 9:06

I hope the parents all get the counseling they need as well. If I were in their shoes I would probably become pathologically overly protective of my child. I would be paranoid as hell for a while.

By: bfra on 12/18/12 at 9:07

http://www.wnd.com/2012/03/executive-order-panic-martial-law-in-america/

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/18/12 at 9:09

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/ndrp.asp

By: Loner on 12/18/12 at 9:09

Good morning, Nashville.

The media made money off the tragedy; ratings were sky-high for the news channels. Politicians are working the tragedy for political gain. Guns & ammo manufacturers & dealers are enjoying a huge uptick in sales, as a result of the tragedy and fear of more gun control. And those companies that specialize in security systems will be raking in the cash too.

This tragedy occurred in an upscale nearly all-white community....we'll see action now....when its Arab children or children of color being slaughtered, Americans do not get nearly so upset ....they're hopping mad now.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/18/12 at 9:15

Thanks for the post Blanket. The Tea Party was once to strong for liberals to defeat, but their sure madness as brought them to a halt and their numbers a declining. But what cost to the Republican Party.

By: gdiafante on 12/18/12 at 9:23

I agree, blanket. I'm certainly reacting that way and I wasn't directly involved. I think we all do. How many of us were more aware at a theater after Aurora? I find myself at the mall scanning the surroundings, looking for something out of the ordinary...

The new normal in the U.S.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/18/12 at 9:24

LOL bfra and I'm still wating.

LOL Blanket, but can they read or remember that.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/18/12 at 9:25

Probably not, Nemo.

By: Loner on 12/18/12 at 9:26

Under Richard Nixon's rule, the Grand Old Party reached out to the segregationists, gun nuts and Jesus freaks who were so upset over the Civil Rights Law. A series of Republican administrations has moved the GOP ever further to the extreme right....the Tea Bagger movement is the culmination of the GOP's attempt to court the votes of idiots and A-holes.

Tricky Dick's diabolical plan worked....the racist, born-again "solid south" flipped over to the GOP side....but, as a consequence, tolerant and secular Republicans became marginalized in the party....many of those people became Libertarians or went over to the more sane and secular Democratic side.

With its oppressive, faith-based agenda and mean-spirited leadership, the GOP is in serious danger of becoming a national disgrace....and a washed-up wreck of a political institution....hate no longer sells like it used to.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/18/12 at 9:29

Loner, IMO they have already become a national disgrace.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/18/12 at 9:29

It's easier and cheaper to get an assault weapon than it is to get access to mental health care. Now that says something.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/18/12 at 9:32

The new normal happens all of the time. I can remember when I was about 8yrs old my farther and a friend of his talking about how disgraceful the girls were for dressing in Blue Genes. That was in the mid 50’s.

I remember getting on a plane without going security. My youngest had known nothing but security lines at the airport.

I think when I get so old that I can not change or adapt to the changes in life, I might be to old to be alive.

By: Loner on 12/18/12 at 9:34

North Carolina's sleazy governor chose an Uncle-Tom-type black politician to replace Jim DeMint in the US Senate...so that the people in NC can now say, "We appointed a Negro to the US Senate, now call us racists!" How cynical is that?

Hopefully, the Uncle Tom Senator is like so many other black, Uncle-Tom-type politicians; if so, he will probably be the subject of an ethics and finance investigation....followed by a quick resignation....that's the usual pattern, isn't it?

By: Captain Nemo on 12/18/12 at 9:35

Good morning Loner. Halleluiah!!!!

By: Loner on 12/18/12 at 9:36

I hear ya Bn....and it's easier to buy a handgun than a bag of good herb in America.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/18/12 at 9:38

True that, Loner.

By: Loner on 12/18/12 at 9:39

Good morning to you too, Captain.

By: BenDover on 12/18/12 at 9:41

All of the 'journalism' on this event reminds me of that douche-bag reporter in the Die Hard movies.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/18/12 at 9:41

Oh no officer. Those are herbs for my salad

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/18/12 at 9:43

That's my oregano, dammit!

By: budlight on 12/18/12 at 9:45

gdiafante on 12/18/12 at 7:10
Actually Parnell that story has been reported. What it shows is that a trained police officer is better equiped to stop a nutjob than Joe Schmo, the average gun owner. In fact, where was Joe Schmo during this entire event?

Actually G, yesterday the media was saying that when the police "finally" get there, more people are dead because it takes up to 5 minutes for them to arrive (or longer). And if the event is stopped by an average gun owner, less people die.

Think about it stupid. The principal charged the guy with no weapon or way to defend herself. She was shot; is dead. A hero - yes. But her death did not help the others he killed. If she was packing, she could have shot the monster. Are you people too stupid to see that fact. SHE COULD HAVE KILLED HIM IF SHE WERE ARMED AND TRAINED TO BE A DESIGNATED DEFENDER.

And Blanket, I'm sure the parents who allowed their children to speak were OK especially since they were grateful their child was OK. Stop being so critical. You've never had to experience this type of tragedy. Hope you never do.

Our country turned their backs on God years ago. They took God out of the schools and replaced Him with Guns, Gangs, and Government. The government thinks it knows better than parents on how to raise kids. Gangs are just lurking around waiting to adopt them into their "family" and give them guns -- obtained illegally.

Taking away gun rights from legal, authorized citizens who carry for protection just makes the gangs happier and the criminals more prosperous.

One school district in Butler County PA has filed to have a court order to allow them to have protection on their school campus's in their district provided by armed guards. I don't blame them.

It is sad that we have to resort to this. When I was a kid, my brother and other kids took their guns to school so they could go hunting for deer afterwards. They left the guns in the car/truck or locked in principals office. Never heard of one kid getting shot at school when those days were in style. Too bad the libtards have ruined it all with their doping of ADD kids so early to shut them up; their running of everyone's family and their "know it all" attitude towards society.

Libs think we're all too stupid to make decisions. They are so wrong!

By: Loner on 12/18/12 at 9:46

The question remains; Why?

Maybe the Sandy Hook shooter hated teachers unions? They have been demonized by the "prepper media". ...as we know, Jesus hated unions...he was a scab carpenter, before becoming a full-time holy man.

IMO, those Sandy Hook teachers all earned their pay....unionized teachers should ask for and receive hazardous duty pay....they are being targeted by the baggers.

By: BenDover on 12/18/12 at 9:48

He was a Dirty Sanchez last night when the Titans defense finished with him.

By: budlight on 12/18/12 at 9:49

: Loner on 12/18/12 at 8:34
North Carolina's sleazy governor chose an Uncle-Tom-type black politician to replace Jim DeMint in the US Senate...so that the people in NC can now say, "We appointed a Negro to the US Senate, now call us racists!" How cynical is that?

Hopefully, the Uncle Tom Senator is like so many other black, Uncle-Tom-type politicians; if so, he will probably be the subject of an ethics and finance investigation....followed by a quick resignation....that's the usual pattern, isn't it?

Loner you are such a fricking closet racist it ain't funny. The young man has earned the appointment and he's extremely smart.

You can't stand it when a black man or woman is successful and they don't have to be a crook like Obama, Sharpton and Jackson -- oh yeah and the Tennessee Fords. Talk about a bunch of crooks. They all fit the same mold.

Racist! Good grief, man, get hold of your emotions. Lately you are coming across like a bitter old man who's been done wrong by your lover(s).

By: Loner on 12/18/12 at 9:53

Instead of disarming the nut jobs, we'll fortify our public places? Schools. theaters, malls, sports arenas etc. will now become fortified compounds?

And we still sing about the land of the free and home of the brave....the lunatics are running the asylum....mass hysteria is no longer uncommon....it's the new normal.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/18/12 at 9:54

More people die of boring post from bud, than are eaten by land sharks.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/18/12 at 9:54

There is absolutely no need for anyone except the military to be in possession of an assault weapon. Zero reason.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/18/12 at 9:55

Nemo, talk about needing access to mental healthcare! Sheesh.

By: gdiafante on 12/18/12 at 9:56

Bud, unless the principal was carrying a gun on her person, it wouldn't have mattered. She rushed the gunman at the first sound of gunfire.

It's a sad commentary on our society when the only answer, for some, is to arm everyone. Excuse me if I refuse to allow my child to attend Dodge City Elementary.

Oh wait, Earp didn't allow people to carry guns within the city limits...my bad.

By: Loner on 12/18/12 at 9:58

If Budlight is singing the praises of the new US Senator from NC, the guy has to be a full-blown Uncle Tom.....he's the kind of Negro that folks like Bud & Yogi like to see: Black on the outside....Lilly-white on the inside....Negroes who got their minds right....the "house negro" type, I suppose.