This Wednesday, at least 17 people were killed in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Both the New York Times and Buzzfeed News covered the story and the suspect, Nikolas Cruz.
One significant difference I noticed was in the sources that each organization determines credible. The Buzzfeed News article begins with: “the gunman suspected of opening fire at a south Florida high school on Wednesday, killing at least 17 people, had previously been identified as a potential threat to the campus and ‘talked about guns a lot,’ a teacher and former classmate said.” This quote raises some skepticism because the sources are never officially named or is the potential threat explained in detail.
However, the New York Times relies almost exclusively on factual information to describe the scene and Cruz. The New York Times quotes former teacher, Mr. Gard, who “recalled that ‘there was concern’ about his behavior on the part of the school administration, which emailed teachers relaying those fears,” regarding Cruz, who he described as “quiet.” This is more concrete than Buzzfeed’s vague, but heavy statement.
Another disparity I noticed are the photographs and videos each organization chose to include. The New York Times article only has photographs taken by their photographers. The photographs depict students and their families reuniting outside the school. This is sensitive to the victims and the community whereas Buzzfeed’s choices are more provocative. Buzzfeed includes photograph and video of the suspect being arrested and an interview with a student for a local TV station. Both of these videos are linked to tweets.
Even though the news organizations paint a similar portrayal of this event and the suspect, the New York Times appears to use facts to tell the story while Buzzfeed wants to get the reader’s attention.