Appalling is probably the best word to describe your pretentious editorial “CHP Reflections on Virginia Tech,” which ran in Volume 41, Issue 23. It was nothing short of an embodiment of American culture — somehow making everything “All About Me.”
It is in very poor taste, not to mention hypocritical, for you to justify running such an insincere editorial in order “not to sensationalize the stories of these students, invade their privacy and harass a quote from them, simply to hype a point or sell ads.” Newspapers are intended to deliver factual information to the public, to tell stories, to be informative. With some journalistic integrity, it’s not necessary to compromise compassion for coverage. If the media isn’t responsible for delivering news, then who is?
What happened at VT was, of course, a tragedy, as any untimely loss of life should be considered. But most people who are affected by a life-altering event have a desire and a need to make their voices heard.
On the other hand, I would like to praise the commentary raised in John Williams’ column, “Recent Shooting at Virginia Tech: Looking Through Another Lens,” which followed a week later in Issue 24. As Williams points out, deadly shootings are not uncommon, and in other parts of our world (especially Iraq), students attend school daily in constant fear for their lives.
So why is it that City on a Hill Press chose to express condolences — and “afford” dignity and time — only to the students of Virginia Tech, and not to others who die in senseless murders every hour of every day? Should people only allowed to grieve and remember those who are like us, and are “our own?”
I have one word for you: Egocentric.
Of course, I don’t think that news outlets are unbiased, nor do I naively believe that a portion of the coverage was not at all racially motivated. But while the media may constantly barrage consumers with too much content, the “pundits” do actually have something important to add. Like “that one guy” in class who won’t stop raising his hand and always needs to interject his opinion, it may all seem repetitive — but we’re all searching for an answer that is impossible to understand.
The ultimate irony is City on a Hill Press has yet to mention the full name of the Seung-Hui Cho in any context. Very effective, if your objective is to subtlety separate the “him” from “us.”
Very effective, if you just want to focus on “we.”