Media today is very quick to get any story out, no matter if its true or not. The media
Is a competitive business so every media outlet tries to get the story out first so it can grab peoples attention. Humans are naturally curious, and we want to know things as soon as possible. Media outlets can use this to their advantage to make money off of our curiosity. Unfortunately, when tragic events occur media outlets are some of the first to arrive at the scene. They report anything they can get with out getting any, or very little validation of the information. This phenomenon happened during the Columbine massacre shooting. In the novel Columbine, David Cullen shows the corruption in media by explaining the myths and rumors around the event.
From the very beginning of the tragedy there were already rumors being spread. “One
hour into the Columbine horror, news stations were informing the public that two or more gunmen
were behind it. Two hours in the Trench Coat Mafia were to blame.” (Cullen 150) This quote shows
just how fast the media responds to situations like these. In this case the media was faster then the first
responders that day. The Trench Coat Mafia was a very popular myth. “Two gun-toting teens were dressed in black trench coats and wearing masks, students said. Some said they were thought to be member of a small group of "outcasts" at the school known as the "trench coat mafia.'' ” (CNN) This was the second report on CNN after the event, at 10:46 pm on the day of the event. Even hours after the event the media was still reporting false information. On the New York Times they posted an article titled; TERROR IN LITTLETON: THE TRENCH COAT MAFIA; Students on the Fringe Found a Way to Stand Out. The New York Times has a very similar story to the CNN story. The Trench Coat Mafia rumor was not proved wrong for a while after the initial reports.
Its very common for media to report false information, or repeat the same information. For example, When Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed in San Francisco on July 6, 2013 there was an initial report by KTVU that reported the pilot names. These names were false names and were considered racist. The station later apologized about the mistake but they are still dealing with the consequences of this mistake. This is a good example of what can happen when the competitive nature of the media can result in some major problems. Something similar to this happened in columbine with the Trench Coat Mafia myth. News stations used students as resources to confirm the myth.“In those first five...