The anatomy of a news story
1) Go wall to wall coverage with big bold graphics and ominous music; get it out first, and worry about fact checking later.
2) The President, in a pastoral role, must say appropriate words to comfort the nation.
3) Government feels like it must make a response to the crisis. Doing something by government is always to be preferred over doing nothing;
4) Pundits evaluate the reasons behind the tragedy and evaluate government proposals;
5) As the news story goes “old,” the attention shifts to psychologists, particularly on the question, “How do we explain this tragedy to our children?”
6) As the story begins to fade, the last issue is media people interviewing other media people about how well the media covered the story.
We are currently at stage 4 and just about to enter stage 5 on the Newtown tragedy. I wish this template were not so standard. And I wish that seeking the Lord by prayer and fasting was reinserted into our national narrative of tragedy.