When there’s a big news story, it’s always followed by reports of similar instances. Maybe some of this is an effect of heightened awareness, but I’m too cynical to believe that’s all what it is. Let’s throw some lack of imagination and knowing what sells papers in for good measure.
I know enough people who’ve had their homes invaded, sometimes when they’ve actually been in the home at the time. Not one got their incident covered in the media. Since the Cheshire crime, these reports are all over the place. What’s more, when an incident is thought to not be a burglary after all, those details are just ignored.
Yesterday, several news media sources began reporting on an incident in South Green (yes, near me) in which a man who was defending his home against a burglar, shot the criminal dead, and in the stress of it all, had a heart attack. Later in the day, WFSB reported that the deceased victim’s family admitted that the two men knew each other and were arguing earlier in the day. And basically, it sounds like a grudge was held, and someone wanted to settle the score that night. The Courant doesn’t report any of this in today’s edition, choosing instead to stick with the story that the gunshot victim was an intruder. I’m not sure this impacted the Courant‘s decision at all, but the man who shot the alleged intruder, he used to be a reporter for the Hartford Courant. WTNH is more careful with their use of language, calling the shot man a possible intruder, and then revealing that it was thought not to be a burglarly attempt or even intruder situation.
Sloppy reporting does a disservice to the public. Not too many people read entire articles word-for-word, updates on stories, or the page where corrections are made. It’s not going to be possible to get a story 100% correct the first time, all of the time. But geez, just admit when you’ve made a possible mistake. Only printing the police report or choosing to ignore witness reports counts as a journalistic mistake.