Coverage Rapid, And Often Wrong, In Tragedy’s Early Hours : NPR

Nearly everyone reported so many things wrong in the first 24 hours after the Sandy Hook shootings that it’s hard to single out any one news organization or reporter for criticism. Among the news outlets that wrongly reported major parts of the journalistic building blocks of “who, what, where, when, why and how,” were CBS, The Associated Press, The New York Times and NPR — a veritable honor roll of the mainstream media. Many…

As Shooting Story Unfolds, Media Struggle With Facts

With so many unanswered questions, TV correspondents were left to set the scene and to convey the impact in words that continually failed them. However apt, the phrase “parents’ worst nightmare” became an instant cliche. And the word “unimaginable” was used countless times. But “imagine” was exactly what the horrified audience was helpless not to do. The screen was mostly occupied by grim or tearful faces, sparing everybody besides law…

Roger Ebert on how the press reports mass killings – Boing Boing

I have no patience for TV news, and feel my blood pressure rise when I see the fear-mongering (“What was the chemical spilled on Route 66 that 10,000 motorists drove over on their way home from work? Will it cause you and your family to die a horrible death? Janice will have that story after this commercial for life insurance!”) I have watched no TV coverage of the Newtown killings,…

Why no new Christmas carols?

Historically it’s been nearly impossible for a new Christmas song to break the impenetrable monopoly of “Away in a Manger” (1885); “The First Noel” (1823); “Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful” (1743); “Silent Night” (1818); “Deck the Halls” (1862); “Jingle Bells” (1857); “We Three Kings” (1857); “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” (17th century); “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” (words 1739, music 1840) – all still caroling favorites. Of course, to be…