In a Tragedy, What's the Responsibility of Media? Much of the discussion following last Monday's Virginia Tech shooting has focused on the way university officials responded during the crisis. But the tragedy also demands that the media consider their responsibility to the public.
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In a Tragedy, What's the Responsibility of Media?

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In a Tragedy, What's the Responsibility of Media?

In a Tragedy, What's the Responsibility of Media?

In a Tragedy, What's the Responsibility of Media?

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/9759181/9759182" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Much of the discussion following last Monday's Virginia Tech shooting has focused on the way university officials responded during the crisis. But the tragedy also demands that the media consider their responsibility to the public.

LIANE HANSEN, Host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Liane Hansen.

DANIEL SCHORR: It gets to be almost commonplace: After the tragedy comes the inquest into the role of the media.

HANSEN: NPR's senior news analyst, Daniel Schorr.

SCHORR: NBC News, for reasons unknown to NBC News, was the sole recipient of pictures, writings and videos sent by the killer at Virginia Tech between his shooting sprees. News president Steve Capus said that what to put on the air was a tough call. There were the feelings of families to be considered and maybe even the fear of a similarly driven copycat killer. All this weighed against the ill-defined right to know.

HANSEN: I'm not so sure we would accede to this demand in any form.

W, Host:

But finally, in an agony of decision-making, Sulzberger and the Washington Post's Mrs. Graham agreed to cosponsor the Unabomber's essay in the Times. Sulzberger said that this centers on the role of a newspaper as part of a community.

NBC: In a few words - Sulzberger's words - NBC decided what it owed as members of a community. This is Daniel Schorr.

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