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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Too Much?

When does coverage of a certain event become too much? These breaking news stories always have me wondering just when the media has taken it a bit too far. The Virginia Tech shooting, at first, seemed to be overblown to me. I wondered why CNN had so many people heading out. As I watched it, it did dawn on me how much bigger this story is than something like Don Imus or Anna Nicole Smith. Not only for the family and the students that have gone through this but for us as a country. This is the biggest mass killing in US history and I don't think that should be overlooked. If CNN can justify spending nearly a week on the Imus fiasco then I'd fully expect them to be covering the Virginia Tech shooting for awhile.

Would people have questioned so many people going to cover Columbine or Waco or even the bombing in Oklahamo City? At this point, I guess I'd say that CNN and other networks have jumped on this story to cover it indepth and that is appropriate. I hope they continue to bring us new and important information and not just repeating the same thing 20 times every hour. Only time will tell, but for the time being I'd say they are doing a good job.


Annie Kate said...

My question is when does the coverage become too much and becomes instrusive to the students and families that want to grieve and recover and try to get back to normal without a reporter around. I do think right now they are doing a really good job on a story that is absolutely heart wrenching to watch, much less to report.

copperfish.jungle said...

@PT, you hit the right keys, I was also thinking of that. The networks were covering it profusely that it saturates. That is why I was aghast to see the post prior to this how many CNN people were deployed to cover this. This is an important story, no doubt about that but sometimes it was an overkill.

Cyn said...

Some stories do transcend the immediate region where it occurs -- Oklahoma City, 9/11. But this one really feels to me like I am intruding on the grief of the families involved. To see these kids tell their stories over and over again (which keeps them in the moment) just feels wrong and exploitative.

It is useful to hear from the people who saw the warning signs, to ask questions about how security can be improved at campuses, etc. But I think the media horde crawling all over the place really should be scaled back. Yet you know they'll be sticking cameras in all the funerals and then watching the kids go back to classes next week... It just seems that all of the media coverage makes the event even more difficult for the kids. (As was obvious from some the AC blog postings.)

sydney said...

This is a deadly week. Tomorrow is the anniversary of Waco and Oklahoma City, Friday is the anniversary of Columbine. 4/16 is now going in the history books. I wonder if CNN will touch on these events as well. Hopefully, some day if someone studies them enough, we can come up with answers on why some people just lose it.

treeve said...

CNN should change its slogan to "All massacre, all the time"...

It's getting sickening to see them rehashing every little bit of information they can scrape together and making wild conjectures. Oh, and then there are the totally incongruous guests. Was that Dr. Phil on Larry King last night? WTF???

Another major irritant is their constant use of the "Breaking News" banner. If you've been beating us over the head with it for the past four hours, it ain't breaking news anymore!

I can't wait for them to leave the grieving families and friends in peace. Perhaps then they'll remember that there are such places as Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Morocco, Colombia, Nigeria, Japan, etc. Have they even deigned to mention that at least 157 people were killed today in Baghdad?

Purple Tie said...

I agree to a point Cyn, but I think for some it helps for them to talk about it. If the kids didn't want to talk about it or be interviewed then they wouldn't be. I don't think any news networks force anyone.

I do agree that there is probably, in general, too much media there. But I could see where it would be hard to determine which outlets can stay and which ones have to go. Also, at this point I think that some of the major networks should probably scale back the amount of people they have.

Thanks for the comments.

Anonymous said...

There is a fine line between investigative reporting and being too intrusive. For example, do we need the picture of Cho's house plastered over our TV screens? Do we have to know where he lived to understand this horrific event? Doesn't CNN worry about retaliation from the community? And why do we need to know that he was Asian and had a green card? It's almost as if they WANT racial discrimination to increase after this.
Korean-American students pulled themselves out of VA Tech after seeing the mass news coverage. If it were me, I would have gotten out of there too. This is a sensitive topic for many unfortunate people down there, and the news outlets are just trying to best each other to see who could bring the most shocking news.
I sincerely pray for all the families and friends who suffered an inexplicable loss. But let's get the cameras out of there and let the people heal.