Minutes after they made it to safety outside the school, having heard and seen unspeakable things, cable, network and local TV crews were waiting to interview them, live on camera, about things a kid should never have to talk about. Flanked by their parents, boys and girls too young to see an R-rated movie described being hustled to safety as bullets whizzed by them in the halls of their school.
It was arresting. It was heartbreaking. And it was rash, unnecessary and wrong. There is no good journalistic reason to put a child at a mass-murder scene on live TV, permission of the parents or not. There’s not even a bad-but-practical reason to do it, beyond getting buzz and adding “color” to a story. No one learned anything they couldn’t have from talking to people off-camera and privately.