As I write this, we as a nation are reeling from a mass shooting in Las Vegas Sunday night that left at least 58 people dead and more than 500 people injured.
As the story started to break, there were lots of contradictory versions of the story circulating. Fake news? No. It’s just that when something big and horrifying happens, the truth can be hard to come by.
NPR has been including the following statement at the bottom of their web stories, in their their podcasts and over the air:
— Casey McDermott (@caseymcdermott) October 2, 2017
NPR’s media news show On The Media has a guide for news consumers dealing with breaking news, shared here by media critic Matthew Gertz:
When there's a tragic breaking news story like today, here's how you can be a responsible media consumer: pic.twitter.com/5MQJdPmjaL
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) October 2, 2017
And journalist/journalism professor Steve Fox reminds us that the desire for speed by journalists is more likely to lead to errors than is any agenda of the journalist:
'In the immediate aftermath, news outlets will get it wrong.' Not because of some agenda but because of the quest to be 'first.' Go slow. https://t.co/Gmn8ft09LI
— stevejfox (@stevejfox) October 2, 2017
Media sociologist Zeynep Tufekci points out this morning that as reporters, we must always keep in mind what the effects of our coverage can be:
Media: the next potential mass shooter is watching the current media coverage intently. Right now. Your coverage is a factor in this crisis.
— Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) October 2, 2017
Boston Globe reporter Astead Herndon noted in June 0f 2016 following the Orlando night club shooting that the National Associations of Black Journalists and Hispanic Journalists warns against using superlatives in stories about mass shootings:
I was guilty of using this language in our story Mon., based on police. Thankful for this NABJ/NAHJ statement: pic.twitter.com/ac7m7nBd08
— Astead W. Herndon (@AsteadWH) June 16, 2016
Today, NPR’s culture blogger Linda Holmes put up a tweet that really spoke to me as a media professional:
It's like every day you have to get up, put your heart back together, and get going again. What a time.
— Linda Holmes (@nprmonkeysee) October 2, 2017
Finally, on days like this we must remember the words of Fred Rogers:
— Ralph Hanson (@ralphehanson) October 2, 2017