Monday, July 23, 2012

Round the Clock Coverage ….. Again!

by Kate Collins



The tragedy in that Colorado movie theater was horrific. No one will argue that, and I know your heart and mine went out to those injured and those left bereft.  Having lost my beloved soulmate, I know the terrible, ceaseless heartache death brings. But really, did all the television channels have to cover it all the time?

Maybe it’s just me, but my sense of it was that of a piranha feeding frenzy. The news shows, the morning shows, the evening news, couldn’t wait to get their top reporters out there to interview everyone even remotely connected to the shootings. Hour upon hour of it.

After one entire morning of it, I just got angry and turned the TV off. The news media took what was indeed a true horror and made it into a side show. Sure I wanted to know what was going on, but after the first full morning of coverage, couldn’t we just get updates?

Do you feel that way, or am I off base?

13 comments:

Lynda said...

I understand what you're saying Kate. After a while it just becomes white noise. They are all reporting the same things over and over and over, until you stop listening or reading. Then, if there really is something new, you might not even hear it because you've tuned out. Feeding frenzy seems an apt description of this type of news reporting.

Book Dragon said...

can I just say "ditto" to both of you?

Aurian said...

I do agree. And is perhaps this much attention not exactly what a killer wants?

Annette said...

When the space shuttle blew up right after lift off, I stopped watching national media any more. For the same reason you describe. The media does not care a whit about the people involved, they care about ratings. "Tell me Ma'am, how did you feel when you saw your entire family blown away in a whirlwind?" There is no longer a sense of humanity, simply a sense that "If I get this story, I get face time on the tube."

We have lost a sense that we are one with the other. Because human beings have been devalued. The tragedy is minimized by the repetition. And now a word from our sponsor, which pays the bills and that is the bottom line. I guess, I need to tell you how I really feel...

Kate Collins said...

I agree with you all and I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who feels this way. I hope to hear from more of you.

Jeannie D. said...

I agree with everyone else. I remember when I was a kid growing up in the 60's. We got news once a day at 6:00,that was it, and that was enough. I'm really glad to know I am not the only one.

Barbara said...

I've been a news junkie all my life but even I am offended by these feeding frenzies (perfect description) whenever there is a tragedy. The media uses people for ratings, then they just dump them and move on to the next big story.

We're actually being subjected to two of these events - the Colorado tragedy and what's happening at Penn State with the removal of Joe Paterno's statue and the sanctions announced by the NCAA. We'll get both 24/7.

Anonymous said...

I certainly agree with all of the above. Since the killer usually wants the publicity - why can't we black out their picture and don't use their name - I would actually prefer never to hear that killer's name again.

Kate Collins said...

Now they will dissect the killer from his birth onward. I have to feel sorry for his parents. They'll be scrutinized for ways they went wrong in raising him. Maybe it's because I'm a writer, but I can slip into their skin and imagine how horrific it would be to have a son slip into mental derangement and then be examined under a microscope because of it. Double tragedy.

I also feel sorry for the Penn State athletes who will suffer because of the sanctions. Let's hope if this sad state of affairs is going on in any other university, they will take immediate actions to stop it. Ugh.

JJM said...

No problem with 24/7 coverage of a breaking event of significant magnitude -- 9/11 being one of the few legitimate examples I can think of. The problem lies not simply in giving a killers the publicity they want, but in continuing to talk even when you have nothing new and nothing solid. That's when you get the inane questions, the endless speculations. It's bad journalism, and that has got to stop, most definitely. What also needs to stop is 24/7 coverage of what, after the initial news bulletin, is essentially local news; national implications (e.g., as here, gun control issues) can wait.

I stopped watching news during the O.J. Simpson affair, myself. 24/7 coverage of a local story. Feh.

Lizzie said...

It's the rehashing of the same information over and over that gets me. And is it fair to the victims? I don't think so! They'll have their own "24/7 coverage" to deal with in the form of phobias, fears, nightmares and other forms of PTSD. Why does the media have to perpetuate the horror they witnessed? So much of their coverage is based on speculation anyway and nothing new and concrete.

Linda McDonald said...

I live in San Diego and a massive media presence has camped out in front of the home belonging to the shooter's parents. It's a couple miles from my sister's house and is a complete zoo...or as you said, a feeding frenzy. I'm tired of watching it, though I will watch the stories about the survivors in the hosptial, and news about who the victims were. I'd rather learn about them and send a prayer for them and their families, then non-stop coverage about the shooter.

Susan L. said...

I think the world, in general, was a better place without CNN and Fox News rehashing the same thing over and over all day, 24 hours a day, seven days a week (and I mean to be repetitive on purpose to display how annoying it is). It's okay to pre-empt television for news when it is truly new and not the same story that was just reported five minutes ago. I went to the WWII museum in New Orleans Monday (I'm in town for a conference), and all I could think of when I visited the Normandy D-Day invasion exhibit was: if we had to depend on the "news media" and "journalists" to keep a lid on something of that magnitude today, for the sake and safety of millions of our servicemen, a truly pessimistic part of me fears that 1) the "frenzy feeders" would leak the story worldwide and 2) they would all show up at the invasion site to report on the fallout of their actions (in other words, millions of our troops being mowed down).