How Should Media Cover Mass Murder?

Dec 19, 2012

Watching the coverage of Newtown unfold on Friday, I grew upset by the number of wrong reports.

The shooter was misidentified. His mother's connection to the school was wrongly portrayed. There were reports of an altercation between the shooter and school officials the day before. There was incorrect information about the guns he used and the method by which he entered the school. I could go on.  It seems to me, we're going too fast. And we've entered an age when Twitter reports from amateurs are scrambled up with the work of professional journalists and where semi-professional journalists retweet bad information in an ostensible effort to "crowdsource" it for truth. This is in lieu of actually finding out for sure what's happening. There're more to say about the press coverage. Is there just too much of it?  Should children on the scene have been interviewed? We'll address these questions today with NPR's Andy Carvin and Bruce Shapiro from the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. You can join the conversation, e-mail us colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.