By ISABELLA VACCARO
Three people were shot and killed at a Rite Aid distribution center in Maryland yesterday. Unfortunately, as the years tick on and the number of mass shootings multiplies, each tragedy holds less and less weight in the eyes of the American public.
Perhaps one of the more unique facts in this story is that the shooter was a woman — usually it is more common to see male gunmen. CNN.com, in its coverage of the act, used a headline that mentioned that a woman had shot the victims, and they wrote a lede that began with “A woman killed three people and wounded three others…” to be as specific as possible.
It seems fair that a news source, if they have knowledge of who the gunman was, to state it immediately in the story. NPR clearly didn’t think so. Their headline read, “Multiple People Killed And Wounded in Maryland Shooting,” and their lede began with “Three people were killed…”
They do not even identify the shooter until paragraph two, completely disregarding the need here for a classic summary news lede — with all the most important facts right at the top.
It seems any news source would want to capture readers, no matter how morbid the topic, by providing an angle that might differentiate this shooting from every other story we read.
Nevertheless, CNN and NPR both provide sound facts from law enforcement, which give the reader a clear vision of what exactly happened. However, CNN, in the second paragraph, explicitly asserts that the shooter was a “disgruntled employee,” which is an important fact to know when pondering the reason for the murder.
NPR, on the other hand, does not come out and say that the woman was an employee, simply stating in the fourth paragraph that the “shooting may have been tied to a work-related grievance.” Unclear over whether this woman had actually worked for the Rite Aid or not, I had to seek other sources after reading NPR.
CNN’s coverage was overall crafted more strategically and organizationally than NPR’s which made for an informative and easy read, with no loose-ends to tie up in your mind.