As an old-time newspaperman believing I’ve acquired a few pearls of wisdom to pass on to the upcoming generation before I amble off into the night, the astonishing news coverage of the June 12 massacre in Orlando left me in a state of apoplexy. It has also presented a formidable challenge, going forward, to any words of wisdom I might have for up-and-coming newswriters in terms of “higher brands” after whom to model their pursuit of integrity in reporting.
Even the most recognizable brands inexplicably lent themselves to advancing a non-factual statement about the social condition — one that masked, or at least downplayed, the reality painted by the evidence in the aftermath of a deadly shooting spree that left 49 people dead and 53 seriously wounded at the gay nightclub Pulse.
Electronic and print brands alike, no matter how notable and decorated, found themselves caught up in a narrative that very quickly left the evidence in its dust: describing the massacre as a hate crime directed at the LGBT community, to the exclusion of apparent Islamic jihad having been carried out in the name of ISIS. Continue reading