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Introduction   Previous school violence   Media coverage   In his own words

Reaction

Families of the victims were so upset by the footage that many cancelled planned appearances on NBC's morning news programmes in protest. The American Psychological Association urged media outlets to stop airing the footage because it "seriously jeopardizes the public's safety by potentially inciting 'copycat' suicides, homicides and other incidents." Jeffrey Schneider, senior vice president at ABC News, noted that after the first news cycle "the repeated broadcasting of the material has little news value, and becomes pornographic."

NBC's Response

NBC responded to the criticism, noting that its staff debated the airing of the footage and edited out the obscene material. Its statement said in part, "We did not rush the material onto air, but instead consulted with local authorities, who have since publicly acknowledged our appropriate handling of the matter. Beginning this morning, we have limited our usage of the video."

Despite that it was meant to address Cho's reasons, airing the manifesto contents still failed to answer the ever-present question: 'why?' Instead it showed viewers a deeply-troubled young man lashing out at the world, intent on inflicting pain. He succeeded.

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