Questions About the Sandy Hook Tragedy Reporting – What if Our Focus was Different?

There’s no question what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School was tragic. My question is what would the media coverage have been if someone had walked into that same school on Friday and handed out $1,000 to each of the administrators, teachers and students. How long would that story play out at holiday parties around the world?

My point is, great things happen all around us all the time. Even amidst the news of fiscal cliffs, natural disasters and horrific acts by men, the good outweighs the bad (that “good” and “bad” are perceptions is a discussion for another time). Where is the ongoing, 24-7 coverage of that? Show me the reporter sticking a mic in the face of everyone on a beach cleanup day or the person who just created a scholarship endowment to his alma mater that will benefit hundreds of students over the next decade and beyond, asking “how do you feel about what’s happened here?”

I don’t understand the media’s love for scaring people with its intense focus on every sick detail. I also don’t understand the public’s thirst to drink it all in and then seek out more.

When details or facts aren’t yet clear, news outlets will make them up or run with hearsay. Look at just a few things they got wrong in their frenzy to report Friday’s events – the name of the alleged shooter, that his mother was a teacher at the school, and so on. And people latch on to every comment as if their own children’s lives depended on their knowing this stuff. FYI, it doesn’t. Turn off the TVs and stop reading every newspaper and online article you can find.

Please don’t get the impression I think I’m so much better. Yesterday I was reading a few of the articles too, until I quickly got to a point where I thought, “WHAT am I doing?!” This information isn’t making me smarter, more enlightened, better equipped to do anything. It’s just making me want to cry.

So I stopped reading that garbage, said a few prayers and thought about what it would be like if our good deeds were covered as extensively as the horrific ones are. What would our world and our mindset be like if uplifting news dominated the headlines regularly?

Until then, I encourage you to seek out and fill your and your children’s worlds with positive stories that highlight the admirable in human nature. It’s out there in abundance, just not reported on as excitedly by the main stream news and media outlets.

PS: Let’s give gratitude for the outstanding and heroic efforts of the teachers, administrators and first responders who jumped into action on Friday and everyday.

“Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.” ~ Anne Frank

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