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 V.17 No.8 | February 21 - 27, 2008 

Thin Line

Who Cares About the Killer?

Nobody knew it was coming. Nobody knew Stephen Kazmierczak was going to walk into that oceanography classroom and kill five people. Just like no one suspected something so random and atrocious was going to happen all the other times it's happened in the U.S.

Maybe I sound like a broken record, but I blame the media and the celebrity given these desperate fools. The question every outlet tried to answer the morning of Friday, Feb. 15: Who was Kazmierczak really? I say, who cares? He was an idiot who did something really stupid, devastating the families and friends of innocents.

This crusade may sound tired. But newspapers should behave more responsibly. Let's avoid glorifying with movie words like " gunman," " rampage," " pump-action Remington" and " victim total." This is not Hollywood. " Mystery Remains Over Campus Gunman," wrote The Press Association -- and just about everyone else. Sometimes headlines are news, and sometimes they make more news.

NY Times to Slash 100 from Newsroom

The mighty Times is bowing to finance pressures and cutting about 100 jobs. But what still fails to make sense to me is how newspapers expect to make a comeback when they're lessening the quality of their news. Even Executive Editor Bill Keller says the layoffs and cutbacks would affect the Times’ ability to do its job. He's quoted as saying that to meet the budget goals, the paper will have to cover less, giving the advantage to its competitors. Who are those competitors? How about the Wall Street Journal, snapped up in December by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation?

This is the new landscape. Investigative reporters are being elbowed out by the much cheaper columnists and commentators. And every major news outlet dropped the ball at the start of the Iraq War. We need more people in our newsrooms asking questions of our government, not fewer.

Save the Sinking Trib

Some citizens are not content to sit idly by while their city becomes a one-newspaper town. Help prevent a paper news monopoly in Albuquerque by attending a community meeting at the UNM School of Law, Room 2405. V. B. Price will speak, and he's trying to enlist support to find a way to salvage Albuquerque's 84-year-old afternoon daily. Though the PR firm thinking of buying the Tribune backed out of the deal in late January, this group of citizens, out of love for news competition in Burque, is setting out to do what top dollar can't. Find out what the Friends of the Albuquerque Tribune are up to Thursday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m.


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