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Coverage of the Navy Yard Shooting

September 16, 2013

Since this is a fairly big story happening in the news right now, and because it hits very close to home for me (I live only about 30 minutes away from Washington, DC), I felt motivated to talk about today’s tragedy in DC.

For those who haven’t heard, at 8:20 a.m. this morning, shots were fired inside the Navy Yard facility in southeast Washington, DC. At this point, DC police reports that at least 12 people have been killed in the shooting.

I thought it would be interesting to see how the Twitter coverage of this shooting happened in real time, and how the major networks reported the news.

First, here are the first tweets sent out by FOX and CNN:

To start off, both networks had the exact same report of three shots being fired. Chances are that whoever “broke” the story at either of these networks either got the information from the same source, or was listening to the police scanner.

These next tweets came about about 20 minutes apart. Information is definitely evolving in an active situation like this. Exact information like numbers of dead or injured will definitely differ in the early stages of a report, because it is such a fluid atmosphere. However, it wasn’t until about three hours later until CNN’s Twitter feed confirmed that 12 people had been killed.

CNN’s Twitter feed offers much more in-depth information and reporting on the subject. This other information includes a statement from a Pentagon official and that a staging ground was being held at nearby Nationals Park so family members could reunite with loved ones who were displaced by the shooting. The FOX News feed was more strictly focused on just what was happening on the scene and reporting about the deaths and the well-being of the shooter. Although, FOX does have an interview with a witness to the shooting.

As the situation continues to evolve, CNN seems to be continuing to tweet about the event. In the course of writing this post, CNN’s Twitter feed has updated twice with information about the on-going search for a suspect by police. FOX News has not updated in nearly an hour, and their last tweet was confirming the 12 deaths in the shooting.

All in all, I was happy to see the similarity in which both networks covered this ever-changing story. They were both able to give their viewers the accurate facts about what is going on and provide the audience with the information that they would need or be curious about. And, while this event is certainly far from over, both networks have done a good job of covering this story.

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2 Comments
  1. Excellent breakdown! This makes the story (of the media coverage) concise and centrally located. You do a great job of curating this.

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