There’s a fine line between being too intrusive during tragedy and adequately documenting history. Reporters were tasked yet again with navigating that gray area during last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
After some photos and tweets surfaced from students taking refuge in the school, some reporters attempted to contact those posting from inside the school for interviews. The public did not like that at all.
Many saw it as just another example of the bloodsucking media trying to make an easy buck off the reactions of cowering children. It’s all about ratings after all, right?
Those reporters wanted to expose what happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in as complete a manner as possible for a reason. They never want to cover a mass school shooting again. I can assure you that reporters don’t get into the field because they want to take advantage of victims to make money for some giant media conglomerate. They want to report the facts and allow them to effect positive change in the world.
Through the use of those Twitter photos, we were able to experience the terror these kids felt from a first-person perspective.
It was shocking to see so much anger directed at news reporters while there was literally a gunman massacring high schoolers. I guess it’s easier to get mad at the media than to accept the reality of dead children.
We witnessed the reactions of parents and onlookers at their most vulnerable. They requested details from students still traumatized by the event. Thanks to the work of these reporters, we saw the blood, we felt the pain and we share the scars of the Parkland community.
If it makes viewers uncomfortable to experience that agony, well, it should. A truly devastating event took place. This is how we’re supposed to feel.
It’s true that there’s no easy answer to the gun debate raging in America. There is, however, a desperate need for coverage on the matter and on tragedies like this one to get people talking about policy change.
We can honor the victims while still putting these horrific scenes to productive use to help ensure that kids don’t have to be afraid of spree killers during their spelling lessons.