Thursday, April 19, 2007

"not more than 10 percent..."

The pain suffered by the Virginia Tech community and indeed the entire country is immeasurable.
Upon receiving the materials from Cho Seung-Hui, NBC News took careful consideration in determining how the information should be distributed. We did not rush the material onto air, but instead consulted with local authorities, who have since publicly acknowledged our appropriate handling of the matter. Beginning this morning, we have limited our usage of the video across NBC News, including MSNBC, to no more than 10 percent of our airtime.

Our Standards and Policies chief reviewed all material before it was released. One of our most experienced correspondents, Pete Williams handled the reporting. We believe it provides some answers to the critical question, "why did this man carry out these awful murders?" The decision to run this video was reached by virtually every news organization in the world, as evidenced by coverage on television, on websites and in newspapers. We have covered this story – and our unique role in it – with extreme sensitivity, underscored by our devoted efforts to remember and honor the victims and heroes of this tragic incident. We are committed to nothing less.

I'm of two minds about this.

I think NBC is within its rights to run this footage 24 hours a day, if they want and people watch (for now, of course, they're merely talking about it 21.6 hours a day and running the footage 2.4 hours a day to meet that 10 percent).

I get the argument that NBC is giving Cho a stage and airing the material may inspire copycats, but, after the last three days, I think that ship has sailed. Whatever deeply disturbed people might be inspired by all of this already have plenty of inspiration to work with.

BUT, NBC, don't devote every second of every day to a story and then preen about how sensitive and responsible you are. I mean really.


At 3:27 PM, April 19, 2007, Blogger VSelfridge said...

I think the VT story is MUCH more germain than - say - spending 24/7 on the Imus gaffe.

Talk about too much time spent talking about a "shock jock"... Crazy.


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