Friday, January 14, 2011

How alternative media covered the Tucson shooting

Posted By on Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 1:15 PM

George Ochenski wrote about the assassination attempt on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in this week's column, and almost every news outlet in the country has touched on the subject. But if you're interested in reading more from Tucson proper, check out the work done on the scene by Tucson Weekly.

The alternative paper covered the tragedy from every conceivable angle—and continues to do so online. There's a newsy recap, reactions and remembrances, more reaction and reverberations, a look at Jared Loughner and the context of Sheriff Clarence Dupnik's remarks. The paper's blog continues to provide updates.

In an interview with the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies Tucson Weekly editor Jimmy Boegle explained how the paper provided its coverage, particularly in the hours before cable news channels and the local daily jumped in.

The paper's first announcement went out on its Facebook and Twitter accounts at 11:32 a.m., "Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot in Tucson this morning," which linked to its blog, Daily Dispatch. Boegle and staff decided to keep updating that initial blog post throughout the day, rather than create separate posts for each new bit of information. That proved useful when others retweeted that first status update or shared the link hours later.

Boegle says a full three hours passed before Tucson's Daily Star carried any coverage about the shooting on its website. He adds the paper's coverage since then has been outstanding.

In the end, he says it was "the four most emotionally draining days of my journalism career." He also added this defense of his hometown:

"Everyone has this perception that Arizona must be a really terrible place, and that offends me. Look, SB 1070 is a disgrace and we came out against it from the start. But Tucson is a great place, just because some fuckhead committed this horrible crime, it doesn't change that. I mean look at all the great stories that are coming out, people like Daniel Hernandez. That's what we're about. Anyone who dares to bash Tucson has to answer to me."

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