After the frenzied scramble comes, in time, self-examination. It needs to be the other way round, says Cliff Lonsdale, president of the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma.
By Cliff Lonsdale
Much has been said and written about the media hoards that descended on Newtown, Connecticut, in the wake of the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre.
It was undeniably big news – news with a shockwave that reached around the world.
Now, as the last victims are laid to rest and Newtown struggles to understand why such devastation happened, and while Washington edges towards dealing with some of the issues surrounding gun control, many in the media are also struggling with the ethical questions the coverage raised.
The most troubling question is this: If traumatized children were interviewed without due care, stricken families pursued, incorrect information broadcast, is all this now simply part of the price we must pay for immediate news from our purveyor of choice?