Saturday, December 29, 2012

Interviewing kids in a tragedy... for what?




Caught this segment from On The Media with WABC-NY's Bill Ritter and was... repulsed? Disgusted? I'm not even sure how to describe my reaction. Listen for yourself:



On the day of the Newtown tragedy, I flipped on the TV to CNN and watched clips of chubby faced elementary students attempting to describe the sound of gunshots. Mics were stuck in their faces, and they were usually standing in front of their shell-shocked parents. It felt voyeuristic and intrusive. Yes, they were witnesses, but their accounts added very little detail, no substantive information. It did up the emotional ante, which of course leads to higher ratings. When K got home, he immediately flipped the TV off. I'm glad he did.

Although I have watched Ritter for years on ABC7, I'm disappointed in his weak justifications for interviewing these kids. Even with their parents' (who were probably not thinking straight) consent, it just seems wrong.

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