Local Reaction to Cho Seung-Hui Videos - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Local Reaction to Cho Seung-Hui Videos

A backlash against the media one day after the release of videos made by the Virginia Tech killer.  Cho Seung-Hui's message went public Wednesday night.  On Thursday critics called the decision to air the material insensitive.  Others say it helps in the healing process.

News organizations have had to learn to walk a fine line when it comes to airing hate-filled video.  NBC received startling images Wednesday from Virginia Tech killer, Cho Seung-Hui.  The network chose to broadcast it and now many people are upset.

"Its bad and insensitive to families and everyone around," says Columbus State University student Nelli Jabotinsky. "It's pointless because we already know what happened and he gets what he wants."

Seung-Hui obviously wanted his message to be heard around the world.  But are there consequences to broadcasting it?  "To replay things over and over, that can re-traumatize people," says mental health expert Mark Strunk.  He's concerned for viewers.

"My greatest fear with airing the video is the potential for a copycat, someone else seeing it and thinking, 'oh this is the way to get my 15 minutes of fame,'" says Strunk.

CSU Grad student, Andrew Clark says, "He (Cho) is this sort of quasi celebrity unfortunately and that's sort of the nature, the fascination of some sort of sick person who could do something sick like this."

Clark says the videos are disturbing, but he does believe their release can help people heal.  "It encourages dealing with it and talking about it," he says, "As I think opposed to shutting it out."

On Thursday media networks began pulling away from Seung-Hui's video.  FOX News Channel announced it will stop airing the images.  ABC, NBC and CBS have all said they will severely limit their use.

dsinger@wtvm.com

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