• Thoughts on naming the Oregon school shooter

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    There’s a terrible feeling that comes with the news of another shooting.

    You think of the innocent victims and the community that’s forever changed. You see the fearful looks in images transmitted from the scene.

    There are always signs of hope you want to focus on: The medics who step in. The school teachers who put their lives on the line. The parents who comfort their children.

    Shooters shouldn’t be glorified.

    But it’s the responsibility of a news organization to report all the relevant facts.

    How did the shooter get to this point? How can others be stopped? Why are mass shootings becoming the norm?

    Reporters are an extension of the public, asking questions and gathering facts for people who may not be able to get them immediately on their own. With the facts, the public can start answering those questions themselves.

    The name of the Oregon school shooter is a fact that must be reported responsibly.

    Every emotional story has emotional responses. As we continue to post details of this tragedy, we will do so carefully – and will keep in mind these words from Mister Rogers:

    “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

    Casey McNerthney
    Executive Producer of Digital Media
    KIRO 7 News

     

     

     

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