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Get out of Newtown

nomediaI’m well past my emotional saturation point on the Connecticut school shooting. There is no new information being reported. We know what happened. We know all the names. We know families are grieving and funerals are taking place.

There is no longer any need — and certainly no desire — for the media to continue to bombard us with with every detail of what’s happening and not happening in Newtown, Conn. I don’t want to turn on the TV looking for entertainment and be confronted instead with the smiling face of a murdered 6-year-old. I don’t care that our local (Denver) TV anchors are “intimately involved” with the tragedy because one of them has an aunt who lives in Newtown. And it’s beyond irrelevant that some local girl, a broadcasting intern, also died in a school shooting umpteen years ago. The people of Newtown may need all the psychiatrists, psychologists, crisis counselors, analysts, and “experts” who are filling national news; the rest of us, thankfully, do not. Or if we do, we will find our own. Locally.

And whatever happened to pool reporters? Does every national media outlet in the country need to have a crew on site in Newtown, a town of less than 30,000? Did local network affiliates in Denver really need to send their own reporters to Connecticut? (Did every local affiliate in the country do this!?) This isn’t news anymore. This is Ratings War 2012. And in Newtown it has become a horrible type of ghoulish voyeurism that needs to stop. I’m sick of it, and I’m sure Newtown must be. They’d probably had their fill on Day One when reporters were sticking microphones into the faces of children.

The discussions about gun control and mental health can and must continue. That’s imperative. But the media need to show some respect and get out of Newtown. It’s well past time to let those people mourn in private.

12 Comments »

  1. I think that the media might have a large part of the blame for happenings like this… put that murderers’ name up in lights!
    I think that that’s a large part of why these people do this… essentially, kids who know that nobody will know their names unless they do something like this.
    I could be way wrong, of course… but it seems to be a theme of almost all of these mass murders.
    Since there were kids involved? We might really start looking for solutions. There really won’t be “A” solution, but we can at least make some progress.
    And we all need to help to make sure that happens.

    • There’s a lot to what you say, and I’ve heard it from plenty of other sources. After the Aurora shooting here, local news outlets made a point of not mentioning the shooter’s name, precisely so he wouldn’t gain any notoriety from it. Of course, dead shooters aren’t around to see their name in lights. But I think they all start these events with the idea that now people will finally notice them, will finally pay attention to them. It’s a shame the media won’t treat all those Newtown families the same way — give them privacy and a lack of publicity. I can’t imagine what they are going through, getting microphones stuck in their faces within minutes after learning their child was dead, riddled with bullets in their happy first grade classroom. With only a few exceptions, I think the press has just been monstrous in their handling of this.

  2. I swear the only people who don’t get it are those on either side of network cameras and microphones. I was horrified after first digesting the scope of the facts. But then I was disgusted when the SECOND responders showed up with their fully automatic weapons HOURS after there could be any value in adding more weapons to the environment. Maybe TV News producers call in the local and federal SWAT teams.

    • It made for “great” camera shots, having those SWAT guys walking along amidst the traumatized parents and kids. I suppose they are trained to always carry those weapons at the ready, but I can just hear some TV crew shouting orders at them to slow down, to walk beside that mother and daughter “so we can get y ou all in the same shot.” No doubt the producers thought putting all those armed SWAT guys on TV was “great reporting,” just as they’ve thought 24/7 saturation coverage (without any new information and with total disregard for anything else that might be newsworthy) is great reporting. They are no better than sharks in a feeding frenzy, and they think their audiences are the same.

    • I intended to mention the BBC. I turned to them the other night in the hope of finding some news other than the shooting and was greeted with a BBC journalist reporting live from Newtown.

"Nothing is more dangerous than ignorance and intolerance armed with power." ~ Voltaire

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