Isabelle Roughol – The J junkie

The tribulations of a young journalist and writer looking for work

Could CNN show a little sensitivity in Northern Illinois shooting?

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Another campus shooting… I know tragedies like Columbine, Virginia Tech and now Northern Illinois are statistical outliers, but it’s starting to add up to enough to make a student like me, and many others I’m sure, seriously concerned. Meanwhile, cable news is having a field day.

CNN was playing all afternoon on the fancy screens we’ve just added to the newsroom. When they started reporting on the Northern Illinois shooting, some anchor was standing in front of two giant screens displaying those fancy graphics they like to show, like they’re launching a blockbuster. The graphic today? CAMPUS SHOOTINGS, like that, in all caps, with on the left of the typography… a bull’s eye! That’s right, just what you’d see if you looked through the viewfinder of a sniper riffle and started aiming at students. The circle was a bit tilted, stylized they’ll say, with the obligatory dents at noon, 3, 6 and 9. All you have left to picture is the terrified face of a victim.

Seriously? Do they think? Is there an editor out there making those decisions, or do they just leave it the graphics intern? You can’t even blame it on the rush of breaking news. Even an Illustrator ace needs a little time to make this, enough time to think, ‘hey, how would I feel if my kid got shot today?’. I know I’m rarely forgiving towards television news, but this one is just plain wrong. Sorry I couldn’t find a screenshot, but you probably wouldn’t wanna see this anyway.

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Written by Isabelle Roughol

Friday, 15 February, 2008 at 05:24

Posted in Ethics, Television

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