What a difference a bit of decency makes in the news business. NBC’s Today Show reported this morning that in spite of the release of the Sandy Hook 9-1-1 recordings yesterday, the network chose not to air them for a variety of reasons, including to show courtesy to the victims’ families. For once, the public’s right to know what happens in such circumstances did not outweigh the public’s need to know. With the wide open world of 24-hour news, much of the content we are fed is either uninformative or sensational. Odds are these tapes would have fit such classifications. And, of course, with the anniversary of the tragedy approaching, the families would have an added level of sorrow with which to deal.
It’s likely that other major news outlets made the same decision as NBC. It had to be difficult, but it was a responsible decision and even more, an act of kindness. News organizations aren’t in the business of being nice or showing compassion, and in fact, they’re the guys that point out when other businesses show little concern for humanity. So when news media display an act of kindness, it’s refreshing and appreciated.