The reaction journalism Prof. Jay Rosen of New York University had to the Columbine-Red Lake comparison turned the whole premise on its head. "Columbine was a media frenzy," he said. "It was overdone. Red Lake is a media frenzy. If this is a smaller media frenzy, I'm not going to get too upset about it, and I think activists who are asking for a bigger media frenzy have found a strange way of advancing the interests of their group."I also think that the biggest reason for the different level of coverage is simple -- nothing is as big of a story the second time it happens. From my experience, the respective media coverage of the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters was not even close. I would also venture to guess that a substantially higher percentage of the American population can tell you that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima than can tell you that the second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.
Saturday, March 26, 2005
Media coverage: Red Lake and Columbine
I have seen several stories in the last few days regarding the respective media coverage of the shootings at Columbine and the shootings at Red Lake, many of which include suggestions of racism. Setting aside the reasons for the difference in coverage for the moment, to the extent that complaints are coming from people in the community, I find these stories odd in that I can't imagine why the folks in Red Lake would want more TV cameras in their faces as they go from shock to grief. This quote sums up my view perfectly.