UPDATE: Last weekend the shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio occurred. My heart is breaking for those who were killed, injured, their families and communities. I’m praying for everyone, including those who have been the victims of previous shootings as the media coverage can re-trigger the trauma experienced in the past. God, please help us all once again as we try to understand how two young men can be filled with so much hate that they would commit these horrific crimes.
Part 1 talked about weather reporting and now we move on to the media in general. When a tragedy occurs, the media can be helpful by listing resources for the victims, their family and friends. Unfortunately, you are more likely to hear the same reporting and see the same photographs over-and-over again.
The networks do not seem to understand their role. Regular programming should not be interrupted, info scrolled on the bottom of the screen, or screens split during a show. There is a time allotted for the news and that is when it is to be shown. There are news networks and their role to is keep up with current incidents. Stopping regular programming for a few minutes or a few days is not acceptable.
People who are home-bound or in care facilities may keep up with the time through their TV schedule. Other people have their favorite programs and don’t appreciate interruptions. I have heard reporters say that they are getting calls when interruptions occur, and they always have an excuse for breaking in on regular shows. My “do not touch” program is Jeopardy. In Atlanta it can be switched to an alternate channel when they mess with the time slot, which is irritating, but at least I can see it. Although the people who usually watch the alternate channel may not be happy.
I know people who do not even watch networks anymore. The reasons I have heard are, too many commercials, the news is depressing and repetitious and they had rather use other options. I do watch some programs on the networks, and I watch the news to catch up on what is going on.
The news only networks are also repetitious in their reporting. The problem is that no one seems to know when to stop. On and on and then there are special reports to show once again what has already been shown. True crime shows can be repetitious. I had to turn one I was watching off because they kept going back to the same footage and photos. Some crimes seem to receive endless reporting and others little or none. Once a case has been decided in the court, right or wrong, its over. Don’t give suspects and convicted felons more airtime. It helps lead to copycats. As an expert with the Cold Case Investigative Research Institute (CCIRI), a non-profit group, why not give airtime to the unsolved cases?
Sadly, when a tragedy occurs and the media doesn’t move on, people begin hoping that something else will happen to move it off the grid. Have you ever noticed that when reporters are at the scene and have nothing new to report, they begin babbling? Does anyone care that people who have been traumatized need routine and structure?
The media needs to move into the future and leave the programming alone. The Internet, apps, social media and other TV channels are options if someone wants to get more information on something that has occurred.
To be fair, reporting on tragedies may also create trauma for the reporters so I hope they have options to receive help if needed.
Part 3 will focus on political reporting. Although I usually avoid politics, I am going to step out of my comfort zone and see how it goes.
Safety items, Books by Betsy, other books and information.
Don’t be afraid, be aware and prepared.