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Murder Coverage


A guy kills four people in Atlanta, and it receives hours of live TV coverage, including accounts of victims who weren't killed.

A guy kills seven people in Wisconsin (then himself) and if you blink too long, you might miss the story.

Guess the seven victims weren't as "important" as the four.


March 14, 2005 3:55 PM


The newsies are just repaying Nichols for not killing himself. That way, there will be room for plenty of murder trial content.

The guy in Wisconsin killed himself, so there is no long drawn out arraignment, pre to post trial coverage or anything.

Les Jones
March 15, 2005 2:26 PM


It's odd how stories become big stories and others don't, isn't it?

With TV news, whether and how much a crime story gets covered is very dependent on how much film and photographic material is available. No pictures = no story.

March 16, 2005 10:10 AM


I believe Nichols received more media coverage because of a) the lack of security in the Fulton County Courthouse that allowed him to escape, b) the fact that he assassinated a judge (and seemed to be on a calculated rampage against the justice system), and c) the fact that he was a fugitive, hijacked several cars and evaded authorities for about 24 hours. When a gunman who has already killed 4 people (although no one knew about the 4th until the next morning) is on the loose, it makes for huge media coverage. The entire metro area, if not the entire state, was looking out for that green car and the suspect. Is the killing of 7 people just as tragic? Of course, but Nichols' story makes for better media coverage and the public wanted to hear about it because of the fact that he WAS on the loose. I have to admit that as a metro Atlantan - and a government employee - I was a little bit nervous. It's still the top story in metro Atlanta - especially given the circumstances of the hostage situation and his surrender - and will continue to be for some time.