Thursday, April 19, 2007


Yesterday was relatively quiet in the newsroom, despite being one of the bloodiest days on recent record here in Baghdad. Almost 200 people violently lost their lives in and around the city while the US mainstream media continued to cover the events at Virginia Tech. During the day I watched the aftermath reporting coming out of Blacksburg, all the while casualty reports came into the bureau almost faster than they could be attended to.

There is debate here among the journalists as to how long the Virginia Tech events will continue to dominate the news. No one denies that the shootings were horrific, but it has sparked some healthy conversations within the bureau as to the proportionalities of coverage.

1 comment:

Mindy McAdams said...

Well, proportionality dictates that Iraq deserves more minutes of coverage. But the old journalism rule of thumb is: "Dog Bites Man" is not news, but "Man Bites Dog" IS news. I'm sure you know that. The numbers of dead in a war, or even on one day of a war, will not trump a lesser number of dead in a peaceful, supposedly safe place.

The media exposure on the Virginia Tech shootings probably serves a much better purpose than some other media overplays, such as Anna Nicole Smith, or Brad Pitt's love life, or the O.J. trial. As in the case of the September 11 attacks, the media coverage probably gives some people a method for moving through their grief and fear and puzzlement.