In what the Washington Post calls an unusual outbreak of journalistic restraint, much of the national media will not report from Newtown, Ct., on Saturday, the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, respecting the wishes of the victims' families and town officials. Newtown residents and relatives of the 26 children and school employees killed in the massacre have asked to be left alone to grieve on the anniversary, and most major media outlets say they will comply. Few journalists can remember when a semiofficial request for the media to stay away has been heeded, as it apparently will be in Newtown.
“I don't remember it happening in Aurora,” the Denver suburb where 12 died and 70 were injured in a movie theater shooting last year, said Margaret Low Smith of NPR. “And I don't remember it in Littleton,” after the shootings at Columbine High in 1999. But, she added, “we're all human beings, and we get it.” Among others, CNN, Fox News, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, NPR, PBS NewsHour, the New York Times, USA Today and The Washington Post all said they do not intend to send journalists to Newtown a year after the mass shooting that sparked worldwide horror and renewed calls for federal gun control. Several Connecticut TV stations also said they did not intend to report from Newtown on Saturday. The Associated Press said it will have reporters in Newtown, and media are likely to rely on it for on-the-scene coverage.