March 29, 2023
Six people, including three children, were killed in a shooting at Covenant School in Nashville on Monday morning. News organizations have adopted the best practices when reporting on mass shootings to avoid misinformation and pandering to lurid curiosity. However, as Poynter notes, some coverage has focused on details about the shooter that draw away from accurate reporting. Journalists covering the shooting should follow the SPJ Code of Ethics. They must balance the public’s need for information against potential harm. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance or undue intrusiveness. As information is released from this tragic event, remember to take responsibility for the accuracy of your work and verify the information before publishing it. Remember that neither speed nor format excuses inaccuracy.