Journalism

Did the Media Overdo the 9/11 Anniversary?

I read several news stories and columns on Monday complaining about the amount of coverage devoted to the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

It wasn’t a shock at all to see such complaints.  People tire of such stories fairly quickly, especially if they don’t feel that the story directly and personally affects them.

Try telling a member of the family of one of those who died that the media shouldn’t cover 9/11 anniversaries anymore.  Or that it’s silly to put so much emphasis on the 10th anniversary just because it’s a round number.  Or that there’s nothing special about the 10th anniversary that was any bigger than the 8th anniversary.  Good luck with that.

I asked on my Twitter account (which I’m sure you’re following, right?) whether people thought the media did too much.  Apparently, most of my followers didn’t seem to think so:

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Oddly enough, I found it extremely easy to turn on the television on Sunday and not see 9/11.  Some on Facebook seem to imply that it was “all 9/11, all day.”  But in a television landscape of hundreds of channels, such a statement is ridiculous.  Even some of the major networks ran non-9/11 programming.  Wasn’t there a football game?

In local communities across the country, Charleston included, people actually got up from in front of their televisions and came together for memorial services.  They listened to patriotic music and prayed together.

I doubt most of them thought it was time to stop talking about 9/11.  After all, they put a lot more effort into remembering 9/11 than those who didn’t want to hear about it, but somehow couldn’t bring themselves to pick up a remote control and just change the channel.

2 Comments

  1. I did not watch a moment of telly on Sunday that wasn’t already on the TiVO or on DVD. And having seen the disaster as it unfolded that day from where I lived, I never need to see the close-ups and such. It is very different for the rest of the of the country, who saw it, heard the news casts and maybe saw a 20/20 show well after the fact, but it was very different for those of us who in some fashion lived it. I recall everything about it as though it was this morning – and this all happened early enough that people outside of this time zone were still in their feety-pajamas if not completely asleep. The first attach was quarter to nine, and the second just after 0900. It was awful and appalling. Phone service cut out around 10:30, all air traffic ended that morning, too.

    The first time an airplane flew overhead, at least 12 days after the disaster, I hit the floor – I live in between the commonly used flight patterns of Newark Liberty International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, and Kennedy International Airport. There are also scores of little airports around, and none of them were allowed up either. To hear an airplane – especially an armed forces one – after 12 or more days of total silence was nerve-wracking. It was a horror.

    I never need to see it on the telly ever again.

    I stayed away from it and was happy to do so. And most of the memes I do did not go to this topic at all. At least there was one place not over-playing this tragedy. I’d heard from a lot of other people saying the same thing – it’s all over the telly and there is no getting away from it. No telly for me. (Not that I missed it, either.)

    I’d have to imagine that some of the families with survivors of spouses, relatives and/or friends or survivors themselves are into seeing this or being a part of it, and some not. I’m with the nots.

  2. I didn’t have a problem finding other things on TV so I’d say no. I found it too emotionally exhausting after watching/listening to a couple hours of events so I switched to something else.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.