Sunday, April 23, 2006

Globe throws resources into Riverton story

When news of an alleged school shooting plot emerged from sleepy little Riverton, Kan., earlier this week, it did not take long for the Joplin Globe to throw its resources at the story.
Since the story broke, the Globe has had bylines from Roger McKinney, Nammi Bhagvandoss, Linda Greer, Jeff Lehr, and Andy Ostmeyer, covering everything from the law enforcement viewpoint to students, to the connection between this incident and the Columbine high school shooting of April 1999.
This use of manpower might be questioned, but it is definitely the right decision. This is close to home and people who have children in other area school districts are rightfully worried when a plot like this is uncovered so close to home.
The Riverton arrests have also been the major topic of watercooler talk around the area and plus, there is a mystery to this case, which came to light with Jeff Lehr's article.
There appears to be a wide disconnect between the time school officials first had an inkling about this plot and when law enforcement officials were contacted. In fact, every news account I have read or watched indicates the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department became involved, not as a result of receiving word from school administrators, but from a North Carolina student who had picked up the rumor during a conversation on
One of my eighth grade students at South has a close friend who attends Riverton High School, who told her that members of the softball team had told school officials well before April 20 (the purported shooting date), but all news reports are saying the law became involved the evening of April 19.
Reading through Jeff Lehr's story, the message becomes even more disturbing. Students did what they were supposed to do and told school officials. At least one teacher did his job and passed the word along that something serious might be going down. Administrators were checking out the postings, according to the article, but it took someone from North Carolina to think of picking up the phone and calling the law.
Perhaps school officials thought that word of a Columbine-like plan would bring unfavorable publicity on Riverton. Maybe they should have thought of the publicity that would have come with an actual massacre.


Anonymous said...

I think it is terrible when you have to get the breaking news on a story such as this on CNN.. The Joplin Daily which is suppose to on top of these things totally dropped the ball as well as local news.. I saw it on Cnn and the started to find info locally and there was nothing..CNN was using locals anchors and the coverage was better than when it finally came on local news.. Today CNN had their own people in Columbus to report on the court hearing.. I realize that they have much more resoures to work with but this is rediculious.. The same thing happens when tornados happen in this area. National news covers these stories faster and better as in Kara Phillips interviewed the superitendent in Riverton before local news did (local did have mine interview).. NBCs Brian Wiliiams was in Pierce City reoprtint the tornado with complete coverage before local station had anyone there (except possibly camera crew for Brian Williams) iam not sure how all this works..

Anonymous said...

There were more holes in that comment than an Ed Simpson editorial. I think that the Daily is ignoring the story because they are "all Joplin all the time." There is no reason for the Daily to battle the Globe, CNN, and everyone else for the Riverton story. They are covering Joplin while everyone else is busy elsewhere. That's why the Daily exists.

Anonymous said...

Regional news sources, can cover the region they see fit.

A "hometown" newspaper, like the Daily, covers, well, it's "hometown," which in this case is Joplin.

Joplin schools, Joplin sports, Joplin business, Joplin events, Joplin news.

Just like the name says, "Joplin Daily" the coverage area for this effort is Joplin. Plain and simple.