Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Do You Show The Shootout on TV?

A FLORIDA MAN entered a school board meeting, complained about taxes and then began shooting. Police shot the man before he could seriously harm anyone. As he lay on the ground, the shooter took his own life.

The whole episode was captured on video.

Should the video be shown? Is it newsworthy? Is it too graphic? Does it only traumatize the audience?

13 comments:

Matthew Albasi said...

I feel a certain kind of way about sheltering people from this kind of stuff. "Graphic images" are actually what happened. When this man fired his gun, a "bang" flag did not appear, a bullet came out.

I understand that seeing destruction and death is unnerving and disconcerting but if that is what is happening then that is what needs to be shown. How can you understand what words like "war" and "death" mean unless you have seen it.

By that same token journalism needs to be rooted as equally in beauty and happiness as it is in conflict. We should not only show the horrible aspects of life, but concentrate on the good whenever possible.

I think people should experience everything life has to offer, good or bad. That is the only way to truly understand the implications of what we do. So, while images like this upturn my stomach they are also elucidating. You live in this world and should be privy to everything that happens.

Anonymous said...

Taisje Claiborne

I do believe that this video should be shown on television for the simple fact that this type of event is very unusual. Though this video may be seen as graphic material, the truth is that this is reality. People in society are absolutely all kinds of CRAZY. smh. It is unfortunate, nevertheless the world has a right to know what serious issues are happening in the world will cause people to do.

Giulia Valtieri said...

This is a bit too graphic to show on television. The internet will most likely leak it, but for a respectable news organization, violence is sometimes looked to as pornography. Although I personally do not feel this way, before showing graphic videos, the news should consider their more sensitive audience members as well as young ones.

Anonymous said...

Kaitlin O'Connell

I honestly don't feel that it's necessary to show the whole graphic video on television. I saw this story on NBC this morning and it was around the time where kids are leaving for school. Although it may be newsworthy because it's unusual, the video is graphic and a lot of children would be horrified if they were to see this. Even a lot of adults would feel the same way. Information about the incident and maybe still clips would be enough for the watcher. These videos are always available online. One could visit any news website and probably find the captured video if they pleased.

Francine Mensah said...

I do not think that this video should have been show on video. Images are too graphic, and honestly, a story summarizing the events would have sufficed. Although this story does fall under newsworthy criteria, since it is an unusual event, i feel as though the audience would be horrified by the graphics.

Sarah Froehlich-Hull said...

I believe it was right of them to show the entire video. A lot of news is negative, and that is frustrating, but when something like this happens the best way to tell the audience is too see it. Yes, it would be leaked onto the internet regardless, but the news station has every right to show it. For an interesting and shocking story such as this, the video was the best way to inform the public. They are showing us what actually happened and i appreciate that. With raw footage like that you can't frame the story. You take it for what it is. Yes it might be somewhat "horrific" but aren't we as journalists supposed to show the truth? Not shelter it?

Jonathan said...

As shocking as it is, the violence is almost sterile. If you hadn't heard the shots it would almost have been a pantomime.

It should also be noted that the video cuts off before he kills himself, which would hae almost certainly crossed the line.

Unsettling? Surely. But with the warning before showing the video, it is appropriate to show on the news.

Tom McGovern said...

No matter which way you spin it, this is a news story. It's graphic, yes - but it's still news. People watch the news to be informed - to become educated with the happenings of their community, the nation, and the world. I know that I, personally, would much rather get the ENTIRE story in as much detail as possible instead of being TOLD about what happened. Yes, the video is graphic - but it's what really happened. I think ABC made an appropriate decision in broadcasting the clip.

Maxwell Reil said...

This guy is clearly not a bright man or intoxicated. He's complaing about the tax problems with schools but isn't giving any backing behind his anger. Some things I notice: This guy (though dangerous) wanted to get his point across. He had, from what I can see about 2 or 3 times where he could of shot 2 women from the corner of his eye. He didnt. This guy wanted to get his point across. Obviously this isn't the way but people have those days where they lose it. I feel bad for this guy, his wife and kids if he has them. Should this be put on TV? Well it is something you don't always see on television so if people saw this they would sit down and watch it because it doesn't look real. People love drama, love movies. This looks like something out of a movie. Only problem is, it didn't end like a movie (he really had a horrible shot...)However, to put this on TV, it would be beyond embarassment and shame for the family. I think news stations need to find that middle ground; TV always wants to push the limit and be recognized for doing something the other stations didn't do. This is someones husband, father. It's a tough decision to make. At least blur the man's face out. What if this was your dad on the 6 o'clock news?

Matthew Albasi said...

Maxwell,

If this was my father I would be ashamed, but what right would I have to tell the news NOT to show his face? If you do something you should be held responsible for it, not sheltered from the fallout of your horrible decision. Don't you think that the family is already embarrassed about him?

What's wrong with pushing the limit?

Floc said...

I have to say I agree with Matthew, I took this class last year and it's good to see people are still so active and commenting on it. I feel the same way...if it's happening, it's happening, and people have a right to know about. Journalists have a responsibility to show the truth. I definitely understand about kids leaving for school, but 1- parents have the choice as to whether to have the news on or not. 2- Kids unfortunately live in this world too, and are not immune from it.

Sarah Mariano said...

I’m split down the middle on this. Part of me says that it should be show, so that people are aware that this kind of behavior does happen and that it could happen to you (lets hope not). But at the same time, if my seven year old cousin happened to see this and ask me about it, I’d freak and wouldn’t know what to say. Although he didn’t kill any of the board members, he easily could have.

I personally, and I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing, sat through the entire video and didn’t flinch or think twice about anything. I am sorry that the board members had to go through that and I’m sure I would have been terrified if I was in their shoes, but all this did was show me that yet another person can not deal with simple things in a calm and logical away.

However, things like this shouldn’t be shocking people. Things like this happen all the time. Sadly, when I hear stories like this, I no longer feel anything. Because we hear things like this all the time, some people (I know I have) become desensitize. That might be kind of heartless to say, but its true (at least for me).

billydelion75 said...

I DO NOT believe it necessary to show the video. You can definately competently show the events that occurred through writing, if you cannot maybe you need to look at your writing skills. I believe that the only reason for airing the video is ratings, shock-value. It's unnecessary and a direct reflection of the morbidity of our society as a whole. SAD!