In this week’s news, there was discussion surrounding whether the FBI could have helped prevent last week’s shooting in Parkland, Florida. The New York Times and Buzzfeed both reported the story which raises speculation about a comment left on a YouTube video in September. Although the user “Nikolas Cruz” has the same name as the suspect, FBI agent, Robert Lasky, said that “the FBI could not identify the poster.”
As the New York Times highlights, there is concern over how the FBI should follow up on over 10,000 tips received each year. By interviewing and quoting current and retired FBI officials, the New York Times acknowledges the difficulty in the FBI being held responsible for every interaction on the internet. I found it interesting that the New York Times relied entirely on their sources and report without any images or video throughout their article.
This level of professionalism sharply contrasts how Buzzfeed News handled the story. Buzzfeed chose to publish a video covering this seemingly missed warning. In their video, a Buzzfeed News reporter discusses the issue before turning to the YouTuber who’s video, presumably, Cruz’s comment was in response to. Both clips appear to be filmed using an iPhone front camera, almost as if the reporter is on FaceTime with the viewer.
Buzzfeed’s video also uses a screen recording in which the Buzzfeed reporter uses a public search engine to find 12 Nikolas Cruz’s in the United States. As she completes this wish with demonstrated ease, it is clear that Buzzfeed is disappointed in the FBI’s actions. In comparison to the New York Times, Buzzfeed shows significantly more bias, without mentioning any type of counterargument in defense of the FBI.
Overall, it is clear that Buzzfeed’s video is intentionally more provocative than the New York Times equivalent. Buzzfeed’s one-minute video is found on Facebook, while the New York Times formally publishes their article and takes more time to explain the story. As is the case with previous comparisons, even though the New York Times may share their opinion, Buzzfeed relies on their opinion and reveals their bias more quickly.