Breaking the worst kind of news in the best way

By Michael Bodley

There was the Chapel Hill shooting, and, that same year, the suicide in the middle of campus. There was the Charleston shooting and the murder-suicide in South Carolina. And many more tragedies.

My second session of the day, “Cover Breaking News in Real Time, Ethically and Accurately,” opened my eyes to all of the unfortunate tragedies college journalists have covered — and covered well. In small-town Elon, there’s often not the kind of breaking news that makes national headlines, so it’s refreshing and a bit sobering to hear from people who deal with it on a regular basis.

The session really became more of a discussion, moderated well by Jill Van Wyke, a professor of journalism at Drake University. And those tend to be the best kind, when the right people are in the room. This time, they were.

A Storify of collected tweets from the session.

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