The Media and the Sniper: All Sniper All the Time?

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With a sniper suspect in custody, Washington and its suburbs are breathing deeply again. Nonstop sniper coverage has earned CNN, Fox and MSNBC ratings that equaled the aftermath of September 11. Did the media-especially the cable news channels-tell the rest of the US more than it needed to know? Some critics say there was too much uninformed speculation, psychobabble, and even challenges that might have provoked more killings. Others say that the constant chatter helped calm public fear and got citizens to help solve the case. Was a tragic story hyped to jack up audience ratings? Do the police and media need each other? What about those who live with random shootings every day? We hear from the president of a broadcasting trade organization, a columnist on the media and politics, the founder of a bereavement support group and a former police chief.
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Office of Homeland Security

Stop the Violence, Increase the Peace Foundation

Senator Paul Wellstone

Homerun hitter Barry Bonds



Warren Olney