Tag Archives: newspapers

To report or not to report, that is the question

On December 3, I noticed on the front page of the local newspaper that there was no mention whatsoever of the San Bernadino terrorist shooting that had occurred the previous day.  I remarked upon it at the time to a couple of co-workers, who speculated that the shooting occurred after press time. That didn’t seem quite right to me, but since I didn’t have a better explanation, I let it slide. (I didn’t bother looking through the rest of the paper to see if it had been mentioned at all. Looking back, I now realize that was a mistake.)

More recently, there was an incident here where someone was non-fatally shot by police officers. It happened around 3:30 p.m.  It was the headline article on the front page of the newspaper the very next morning.  There wasn’t a lot of detail in the article, but at least it was up there in top view, right where it ought to be: Shootings are mercifully rare around here, and shootings by police officers are even more unusual.

So, I got curious and looked up the time of the San Bernadino incident.  According to Wikipedia, it happened at 10:59 a.m., local time, which would be 12:59 p.m. in this time zone. Thus, the suggestion that it happened after press time is clearly incorrect. Why, I wonder, was it completely omitted from the front page?

The local paper here is owned by one of the major players in the newspaper business. I, and others, have noticed that the major players in mainstream news today seem to have some, shall we say, particular tendencies when it comes to reporting violent crimes. Obviously this is the first thing that comes to mind when I wonder about the mysterious absence of the San Bernadino shooting on the front page.