NEW YORK (AP) – The decision by two media outlets this week to release an unbearable 77-minute video showing police inaction during the Robb Elementary School mass shooting sparked a harsh response from Uvalde, Texas residents, though they sought this guy transparency for weeks.
The families of the 19 children and two teachers killed by an 18-year-old on May 24 said the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE-TV showed insensitivity in releasing the video to the public before those directly affected had a chance to see it.
The surveillance video released on Tuesday, which was later shown and written by other news organizations, captures the gunman entering the school and includes audio of shots fired from inside a classroom. It shows police quickly entering the school and then walking down a hallway for more than an hour before killing the gunman.
The community’s response reflects the gross feelings directed at journalists who flocked to Uvalde to investigate what happened and the reality that journalism often gets its feet wet.
The Texas House of Representatives committee investigating the police response to the shooting had planned to show the images this Sunday to relatives and then post them to the public. The committee still holds a closed-door session with residents that day to discuss the conclusion of its investigation.
“We were blinded by a leak,” said Angel Garza, whose 10-year-old daughter, Amerie Jo, was murdered on Robb, according to CNN, which covered the appearance of some family members this week at an event in Washington. “Who do you think you are to post images like that of our children who can’t even speak for themselves, but want to move on and convey their final moments to the whole world? What makes you think you’re okay? “
Kimberly Rubio said at the Washington event that she understood the need to hold officials accountable, but that she did not want to hear the sound of the shots that day. Her daughter, 10-year-old Lexi, was murdered.
Although he does not agree with how the investigation was handled, the mayor of Uvalde, Don McLaughlin, described the publication of the video as unprofessional.
“There was no reason for families to have to see that,” McLaughlin said. “They needed to watch the video, but they didn’t need to see the gunman come in or hear the shots.”
The media said they contacted relatives before the video was released, although it was unclear how many they reached or what the response was. The American statesman referred a journalist to a column written by Manny Garcia, the newspaper’s executive editor, which did not address the issue. KVUE news director Christina Ginn did not respond to calls for comment.
On social media, Ginn retweeted a comment from another reporter that police may have shared the video with the families themselves. Journalists had been asking for his release for weeks, given that the police response is the central focus of the investigation.
Before releasing the video, the media edited the sound of the screams. The image of a boy in the hallway who saw the gunman and quickly came out safe, was blurred to protect his privacy.
During its first broadcast of the video, KVUE said Tony Plohetski, a journalist who works for both the newspaper and the television station, had seen the video for the first time two weeks earlier.
They considered stopping until the video was officially released. “The problem with that is that the authorities have constantly, from day one, failed the people of Uvalde,” Plohetski told CNN. He declined further comment to The Associated Press.
“Truth always wins,” Garcia wrote in his message to readers in the United States, “it may not be on our watch, but truth always prevails.”
The media might have waited until next week, but they would not be acting in the best interest of the public, said Kelly McBride, a journalism ethics expert at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. In this case, the video had a clear and strong informative value, he said.
It is often difficult to make a journalistic decision for the general public without disturbing a small group of people.
Although relatives are important stakeholders in the story, “we’re talking about a much broader interest group, and that’s the public that believes police officers will act in their best interest. You can clearly see that’s not happening. “, said.
Uvalde’s video shows raw feelings towards journalists
Source link Uvalde’s video shows raw feelings towards journalists