NIU shooting and the media

Northern Illinois shooting goes unnoticed:

This is an op-ed piece from the San Jose State student newspaper about how the national media has treated the NIU shooting and how it’s basically ignored the story since it happened.

People reacted in horror when Seung-Hui Cho attacked Virginia Tech University last April, and grief gripped the nation for several days. Compare that with Thursday, when people didn’t even bat an eye when Steven Kazmierczak committed a similar crime at Northern Illinois University. It felt like a bad horror movie we had seen before.

Some took note, a few grieved and a lot just didn’t notice.

Only five days after the event, the NIU shooting and the issues surrounding it were less significant to CNN than satellites being shot down and Bill Clinton picking on a heckler. By contrast, the shooting at Virginia Tech filled our media’s consciousness for at least a week.

I hate to say it but the truth hurts sometimes. Ever since Columbine, it’s been all about body count as far as the media is concerned. At Columbine 13 were killed. At Virginia Tech 32 were killed. At NIU just 5 were killed. I think it also had something to do with the fact that as far as we know so far Stephen Kazmierczak wasn’t an attention seeking douchebag like Cho, Harris, and Klebold. Go down the list of categories on my site and tell me how many of the shootings you’ve heard of.

This is where I like to think that this is where this site serves its purpose. When one of these incidents unfortunately happens I post about it from start to finish.

5 thoughts on “NIU shooting and the media”

  1. I love this blog. I know if I hadn’t come across it, I wouldn’t even know about half of the events taking place. Not because I don’t care, but like you mentioned, it’s not as interesting as say..Britney being thrown in rehab for the 100th time..It’s sad. Our world is more concerned with close-minded issues then they are about the real issues.
    Also, I was thinking the same thing about the body count. It’s almost becoming a competition.

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  2. Well, if I could play the devils advocate for a moment, perhaps they are covering less of the shootings in hopes to not “shine light” on the act. If another would-be shooter starts thinking that there’s glory in this, and he can get attention for it, he might go on with it.

    I know when I worked for a local ABC affiliate, we made it a point to cover as little of the bomb threats as possible. If the guy who makes those threats sees it on TV, he might get excited and want to continue.

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  3. Great comment Austin.

    In theory that makes sense but this is the national media we’re talking about. Maybe if we weren’t in the middle of an election year it would have had more exposure. Plus like I said Kazmierczak, as far as we know, didn’t have any kind of manifesto like Cho did.

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