Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Day After

I'm still reeling in the wake of all that's happened over the past 30 hours or so.

Osama bin Laden has been killed.
Everyone has an opinion about it.
Social media broke the story.

Bin Laden's death makes our job as news reporters and story tellers easy and difficult.

We blew out our evening shows with bin Laden coverage.
Danielle reported on how the local airport's operations would change (or not).
Kaylin went to Phoenix High School where students were connecting 9/11, 5/1, and psychology.
Steven went to Northern California to talk to a retired NY firefighter who lost his brother on 9/11.
I talked with three veterans from the War on Terror who had served in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I think all of the stories were good, interesting, insightful.

Especially Steven's.

The retired firefighter travelled from very Northern California and worked at Ground Zero for months. He lost his brother in the attack. He says bin Laden's death doesn't give him closure at all. It doesn't bring his brother back.

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Here's why I like Twitter: I don't have the patience (or means) to sit and watch 24 hour news channels for the most up to date information. When I want the newest news, I go to Twitter and check out the profiles for Time and Breaking News.

In 140 characters I get a taste for the story.

Examples of tweets:
"This is likely the gear used in the raid of Osama's compound."
"Why Osama's death hold mores symbolism than significance."
"Bin Laden compound was under near-constant scrutiny by the US; al-Qaida leader rarely ventured outside."

If I like the teaser sentence, I'll bookmark it from my phone and read it, view it, or watch it when I get to a full-blown computer.

Bam! News reports almost instantly. On my phone.

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I can't stop looking at a series of photos of Obama overseeing the raid on Osama's compound.

It's a real-life playing out of scenes I'd seen in "The West Wing."

Take a look.

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I know many people who are ecstatic about bin Laden's death for many reasons.
That's their right. And it's understandable.

However, I find my emotions aligning with this quote--
"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy."

It's been attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr and is going viral. People see it, pass it on. More see it, more pass it on.
One problem, MLK never said that.

Social Media can spread news, information quickly, but doesn't always make it true.

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However, this quote IS from MLK:
"Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence and toughness multiples toughness in a descending spiral of destruction."

The first part of this quote is recited in an episode of The West Wing when the President decides to attack terrorist camps on foreign soil.


They say art imitates life.
Or is it the other way around?

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