Monday, April 16, 2007

The massacre at Virginia Tech story is still unfolding. It's been on all the cable channels all afternoon. All that time. So little information. We know this. Thirty two dead so far, including the shooter. That is, essentially, it.

I'm always fascinated by how stories unfold on cable news. What we're really watching isn't news; it's the gathering of news. I've said this before. It's like when I was a newspaper reporter. I'd get a call in the middle of the night. It would be Ziggy, a news photographer whose job it was to call me, who at the time was covering the police and fire beats.

The phone would ring at unGodly hours. Two A.M. Three A.M.

" Hullo? "

" It's Ziggy. "

" Ah shit, I was hoping it was Bo Derek. Wanting me to come over and help her make it through the night. "

" Got a big one on Elm Street. Three story tenement. Chief says there might be fatalities. "

" Be there in fifteen minutes. "

I'd get dressed and off I'd go. Get to the scene and start asking questions. Taking notes. Gathering information that would be the news that would appear in the paper later that day.

What we're all seeing now is people like me asking questions and taking copious notes. Difference is readers of the paper I worked for didn't get to see the story until it had been filtered, vetted, written, edited.

On and on the coverage of this Virginia Tech story goes. It's been on for hours. What do I know? Thirty two dead, including the shooter.

CNN, MSNBC, Fox ( Hole ) News. So many reporters. So much money. So much time. So much they could do to educate and inform. But what we got in five hours today is this one " story. "

Thirty two dead, including the shooter.

That isn't a story. That's a headline. Everything else is just filler. Everything else is just notes scribbled in haste.

1 comment:

Fred said...

Some poor mother will be crying tonight because of the VT Massacre and it's sad it has to be. Another crazed killer hooked on Army video games. Doesn't suprise me at all. Now he's dead and we'll never really know. Now the media gets to disect and analysis this most gastley event. The only finality to come out of the situtation is the biggest law suit it United States history. So tonight when I say my prayers it will be not only for the poor mother in Virginia, but the one in Bagdad, Kabul or anywhere in God's kingdom.