Thursday, April 19, 2007
pandering to the ratings god
I had the tv on in the background a good hunk of yesterday while I was resting after a medical procedure. While I know it is necessary to cover the tragedy at Virginia Tech, I became increasingly disturbed by the amount and type of coverage. I fail to see the purpose in bombarding the viewer with looping images of the gunman posing with weapons and repeatedly playing the video of his rambling 'manifesto'. Responsible journalism? I think not. To my way of thinking this type of 'sensational' coverage simply granted the wish of the gunman. (Why else did he send the package to NBC instead of, say, the FBI?) It also probably served as a sick inspiration to others inclined to take such action.
There were other aspects of the story that could have been more thoroughly covered instead: e.g. mental health and the law, campus security around the nation, recalling the victims and heroes... But guess those aren't quite as zippy for ratings.
Disappointing, but unfortunately not surprising.