On the Ethics of Bad News

I didn’t really hear about this until late tonight, partly because all the people working out around me at the gym with TVs had them on stupid MTV the whole time.

Anyway, I just wanted to share with you all two remarkable (for very different reasons) things I found online when doing a search for some overview of the shooting.  I send them in particular because they are both temporary postings but say an awful lot:

First, a striking example of a good use of the Internet, not only to share information but as a sense of non-physical community.  I found this blog (probably just set up today, for this purpose only, so not actually a blog per se) on WordPress – it’s just a list of names and people asking for information on whether the individuals listed are okay.

http://godblessvtech.wordpress.com/2007/04/16/hello-world/

Scroll down to read the progression of the information gathering and messages left.  Also note the amount of information gleaned from Facebook.

Second, a striking example of outright voyeurism disguised as comprehensive journalistic coverage.  In browsing CNN’s coverage of the story, I was disgusted by the amount of video – not of interviews and re-runs of news stories, but the amount of direct footage of the shootings/events themselves;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/04/16/vtech.shooting/index.html

There is no clear line between information and too much information, but that might be close.  Thank goodness I wasn’t watching CNN today, or I probably would have got pissed off at them a lot sooner than now (not that it’s just them… but if they bill themselves as the world’s #1 news source I hope it’s not too much to ask to hold them to some minimum standard).

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got.  And get ready to hear about this one for weeks (not from me – from “The Media.”)

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