< Letters


Friday, April 26, 2013

BOB GARFIELD: Last week, of course, brought a deluge of news, and we struggled to keep up with it, let alone weigh in. So we asked for your help. Our first question:  What kind of coverage would you like to see of breaking news? Dozens of you commented on our site and you were very clear. Pat from Maryland wrote a kind of summation of many of the other comments, quote, “All I want are factual updates when there is a new development. What I don't want is days or weeks of continuous wallowing in grief, microphones and cameras in the faces and lives of the victims and survivors and endless speculation about causes, perpetrators and how this changes everything.”

By Friday, when we asked you what you thought of the ongoing coverage of the Boston bombing, you said you were frustrated with cable news and were instead turning to the most immediate fount of information, Twitter. Lee from New York City wrote, quote, “It's unfolding as we speak. The media is trying to keep up, but Twitter is an outstanding source for this.” Let's not forget a lot of news on Twitter is from the news media. Kevin Bonham of Cambridge, Massachusetts had a slightly different perspective. He wrote to say that his media consumption on Friday was directly affected by the manhunt in his backyard, quote, “Mostly this morning I’m just watching Netflix. I'm on news overload and feel like I can't trust the real-time reporting from anywhere. Plus, waking up expecting to go to work and then being told that I'm on lockdown is just too surreal. I need some escapism.” And finally, we asked you what you think the media missed last week. You ready? The shortlist includes but is not limited to the trial of the former president of Guatemala, a report on the US use of torture after September 11th, the Keystone XL pipeline, the trial of Philadelphia abortion Doctor Kermit Gosnell and New Zealand's passage of a gay marriage bill. Worthy topics, one and all. Now, we will behave the way most news organizations do when they miss important stories. We will act as if the events never occurred. [MUSIC] But thanks for the suggestions. Keep ‘em coming to onthemedia.org. And don't forget to tell us where you’re from and how to pronounce your name.

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Bob Garfield