Friday, April 20, 2007

NBC's Decision to Air the Virginia Tech Killer's Manifesto -- Good Journalism or Old-Fashioned Opportunism?

NBC's decision to air the Virginia Tech killer's "multimedia manifesto" has provoked outrage by many, despite NBC's repeated rationalizations of simply reporting the news. Jonathan Bernstein, President of world-renowned crisis management firm Bernstein Crisis Management and frequent guest on CNBC among others, speaks out below -- just click, wait a moment, and watch ... and reply (give your own point-of-view) with your own video using your web cam.

My thoughts? Despite being a First Amendment lawyer in my first life in private practice almost 20 years ago, I am decidedly with Jonathan on this one. This, to me, smacks of exploitation and opportunism -- especially given that NBC wasted no time to air the manifesto. Most frightening to me, I have no doubt that this type of notoriety not only is precisely what the killer wanted, but also may embolden others of similarly like and twisted minds who are looking for their own stage -- again, most likely precisely what the killer wanted. Even news gatherers must have some sense of overall social responsibility -- a concern about the "greater good."

What do you think? Let me know -- either add your comments to this post or reply with video to Jonathan's Vlip above.