With the recent shootings at Dawson college on the 13th, I was forced to ask myself how important it actually is to have up to date information as soon as possible on certain situations. Several reporters and newscrew assessed that they sprinted to be as close to the action as possible, as soon as possible. This, according to them, backfired when they found themselves apperently caught up in the action and almost "turned into victims" themselves. Given the information at the time that more then one shooter were present on the scene.
It was later revealed that only one man was responsible for the actions undertaken and that only one shooter was ever present. It has been documented (see wikipedia) that the time between the first shots fired and the death of the shooter was 7-8 minutes. One has to wonder how it is possible to have reporters get to the scene and almost "get caught in the middle" in that span of time. Not only that, but for several hours, rumors of multiple shooters were being passed around, from 2 shooters to 5 shooters. Witnesses placed shooters in the school, outside the school, inside the metro and inside nearby underground shopping malls. The only people direcly responsible for this spread of panic are the reporters who decided to publicize false information.
What's more stunning is how fast CBC got newsachors from Alberta to host the newscoverage while reporters were on scene in Montreal. While some may say this is testement to how great technology has become, I find it quite hilarious that they decided to broadcast from Alberta over Montreal. Within hours, they also got a few of those wonderful musical and graphic montage of several of the filmed scenes in slow motion over useful and basic text: "Dawson under fire!". "Hurry up Billy, we gotta get that musical montage on the air as soon as possible!"
Reporters were also hasty about finding eye witnesses. The first testimonies heard were obviously the more histerical cases to make the news look more interesting and turn the story into a story of shock and horror. Of course, I had to sit watch as I heard the testimony of some blond girl crying who could barely speak, yet could still manage to comment on the shooter's attire. Describing him as "the typical type with a retarted haircut". Great news, maybe next we can have some gay stylist explain in detail how to proceed to get your hair a few points lower in IQ. What little information I got out of her wonderful display of intellect was the information I could've gotten off those wonderful little pieces of writting on the musical montages.
Nevertheless, I think CBC should be ashamed at how they delivered the story. Rare is it that I see such a lack of professionalism in news coverage. The number of the victims kept varying, the amount of shooters as well, the locations of dangerous individuals and what's more is that a reporter for CBC who was finally given the story later on that night described the actions of certain students 'cowardly'. Groups of students thought "Hey, no one in here's a shooter. How about we barricade the door?", and so they executed their ideas. Not a terrible idea considering it would make the killer's retreat and hostage possibility a lot lower. If they were unlucky and happen to be able to catch the news and hear the wonderfully inacurate information given, it would make barricading oneself seem rather intelligent. Dawson college, in my opinion, has a very unstructured architecture with semi-floors and several confusing basements. If one was to run out of the classroom into the open, he would risk exposing himself. Although, given the timeline above, no danger would have truely been present, it is important to note that if danger was
present then having classes evacuated would only give a shooter more targets to shoot at.
Such events rarely happen, and seem to happen less in Canada. I'm glad that we at least have incopetent newsreporters to keep us posted on the latest events. Thank Zombie Jesus for that.