In the airport on my way back from Amsterdam this weekend, I stopped at one of the News stands to pick up a paper. One, I wanted to get rid of the last Euros I had, but I was also very interested on how foreign media would/is cover(ing) the tragedy that happened in Colorado this weekend.
Above the fold, on the cover of The Sunday Telegraph, International Edition, was the photos of six of the victims. Above the block of images (presumably their Facebook profile pictures, given the credit is "Splash News, Facebook") in a smaller, blue colored headline read: 'VICTIMS OF BATMAN CINEMA MASSACRE.' Right next to the pictures, in the large, dominating headline read: 'The foreign criminals we don't try to deport.'
This was the first thing that bothered me. The juxtaposition of the headline next to the pictures of the victims threw me off a bit. I understand this is a layout issue and not necessarily a journalistic one.
However, my biggest problem comes later in the piece.
The byline is "Philip Sherwell, in Aurora, Colorado," so I am not sure if it is a stringer, a local reporter, or a reporter for the Telegraph.
But that still isn't my biggest issue here.
Towards the end, the article actually quotes TMZ as a source.
"According to the website, TMZ, a red-haired 24-year-old called "James Holmes" from Aurora created a recent entry on a sex website, with the message: "Will you visit me in prison?""
Ok-- did they really just cite TMZ as a source? Whether this contributes to the story or not is not the point... but TMZ, come on...
I have watched TMZ before and it is nothing but a gossip channel and I have a hard time taking them as a "credible-NEWS" source.
I understand that the reporting they do isn't "bad reporting" and that it is just on a subject matter that I usually don't care about. But an international newspaper citing them as a source just gets under my skin.