Thursday, April 19, 2007

Journalists Mostly Rise to the Challenge

NEW ORLEANS, April 19 — In this week of stark tragedy, growing, it seems, by the day, our journalists — several of them my friends and former colleagues — have risen to the challenge of painting the picture of the devastating Tech rampage. With the possible and debatable exception of NBC airing video from the killer — effectively giving him what he wanted — journalists have, I believe, used remarkably good judgment in reporting and sharing a remarkably difficult story.

In my journalism life, I've reported some tragic stories, but largely after the fact and well removed from the scene of the losses. These journalists are on the ground in one of the most intense tragedy stories in American history, trumped only in recent memory by 9/11, arguably. They've done a remarkable job to date, and I'm proud to say I've worked with them and to call them friends. They've kept Americans, myself inlcuded, in the loop and on the ground with them as we all struggle to understand and come to terms with Monday's shocking events.

A couple pieces of work particularly worth your time: Chico Harlan's Virginia Tech Journal for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, at and the on-the-ground reports from staff at The Chronicle of Higher Education, particularly Eric Hoover's second-day reports setting the scene on campus. The Chron is at and — with this content posted free of the normal subscription requirements.

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