Posts Tagged ‘ columbine ’

Ugh, the Media

Is there any wonder newspapers are struggling to survive? Not only is the delivery platform outdated, but there is a growing mistrust with regard to what we read in the newspapers. Is it true? Is there bias? An agenda? Does it tell the whole story? BOTH sides of the story?

On cue, I give you word that nearly everything that was reported about the Columbine massacre was incorrect:

They weren’t goths or loners.

The two teenagers who killed 13 people and themselves at suburban Denver’s Columbine High School 10 years ago next week weren’t in the “Trenchcoat Mafia,” disaffected videogamers who wore cowboy dusters. The killings ignited a national debate over bullying, but the record now shows Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold hadn’t been bullied — in fact, they had bragged in diaries about picking on freshmen and “fags.”

Their rampage put schools on alert for “enemies lists” made by troubled students, but the enemies on their list had graduated from Columbine a year earlier. Contrary to early reports, Harris and Klebold weren’t on antidepressant medication and didn’t target jocks, blacks or Christians, police now say, citing the killers’ journals and witness accounts. That story about a student being shot in the head after she said she believed in God? Never happened, the FBI says now.

A decade after Harris and Klebold made Columbine a synonym for rage, new information — including several books that analyze the tragedy through diaries, e-mails, appointment books, videotape, police affidavits and interviews with witnesses, friends and survivors — indicate that much of what the public has been told about the shootings is wrong.

In fact, the pair’s suicidal attack was planned as a grand — if badly implemented — terrorist bombing that quickly devolved into a 49-minute shooting rampage when the bombs Harris built fizzled.

If we’d rather get our news online…and we have all sorts of new delivery mechanisms, such as blogs, RSS feeds, non-“media” Web sites, etc….and if we can’t even trust what we read in a newspaper to hold up as factual a scant 10 years later…and if we can see as plain as the nose on our face that what is being reported as news is more accurately thinly veiled opinion…why do we need newspapers at all? Cautionary tales abound for those in the world of traditional media. Someone needs to wake up.