Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Amish Shootings Grab Hold Of Most Media Worldwide

Judging by the front pages of newspaper Web sites, the Amish school shootings struck a chord in many parts of the world.
Maybe it was the Amish angle -- and their peaceful, bucolic lives violated by a deranged gunman and that the girls held by Charles Roberts were shot in the head execution-style.
Perhaps it's the desire of foreign media to seize upon the recent school shootings as a symptom of what's wrong with the U.S. Or, it could be a story that dozens of correspondents could get to without a hassle.
Whatever the reason, the British press has been playing it big, including The Guardian, The Sun, The Times as well as the Daily Telegraph. The Independent, whose front page blared "Horror At The Schoolhouse," was also among those who did the obligatory sidebar on the Amish and their 19th-century ways.
Elsewhere, Corriere Della Sera also gave the shootings prominent play, though they were essentially shrugged off by Le Monde and Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung.
However, the shootings were the lead stories on the home pages of the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail in Canada, and also got big play in Australian media, although some readers Down Under were wondering what the fuss is all about. One wrote to The Age in Melbourne:

I am starting to get sick of Australian news picking up on these shootings in the US, as they have no bearing on my life here in Australia. Easy access to guns + the worst social and economic disparity between citizens will always lead to this sort of scenario. The fact is that there are many murders every day in the US. Is 'THE AGE' going to publish all of these?

Well, yes. If it bleeds, it leads, after all.

Many others chimed that the U.S. was "nutters" for allowing guns to be so easy to get. For many they were saddened by what happened, but hardly shocked. Which could be part of the problem.
If it happens often enough, does it stop becoming news? Think about how briefly U.S. military fatalities are mentioned nowadays and you don't have to wonder too hard about that.

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