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Sunday's shooting in Brookfield hit home for many. (PHOTO: WISN.com)

Shooting hits close to home


When hearing about a mass shooting, it's always difficult news to take. When it happens at a place you've been to, or driven by, or just in your community, it can shake you.

We saw this on Sunday when a person went to the workplace of his wife and killed her, two others and eventually himself, in a senseless act. The shootings at the Azana Salon and Spa in Brookfield hit home for many, especially affecting the friends and family members of those involved.

In our community, we felt the same pain when a gunman killed six people at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek just two months ago.

Our local – and to some extent national – media plays a dual role when acts of violence hit a community. The first, and sometimes the most difficult to watch, is the covering of what took place. Details at first are few, yet TV and radio news outlets do their level best to present what they know, when they know it.

Secondly, the coverage eventually expands to a way in which to give us perspective. We find out more about the people involved, and areas that may add insight into a seemingly unexplainable act.

WTMJ-TV and WISN-TV were the first to start offering what's called sustained coverage, meaning that they stayed with the reporting of the story in lieu of regular programming. WITI-TV offered updates but stayed with the Packers game, and WDJT-TV stayed with its NFL coverage from CBS.

Eventually, all four stations offered more coverage, calling in more reporting and anchoring resources. Online, TV, radio, newspaper and community journalism sites offered news and updates throughout the afternoon and evening.

In the 48 hours since the shooting took place, we will have been exposed to hours worth of coverage for an event that took near minutes in comparison. For those affected, those minutes may change a lifetime of memories, loss, grief and healing.

It's easy to offer analysis of media coverage after experiencing the response to a violent act like this one; it's much more difficult to call the shots as the story is developing. It's easy to pick on our area media when they go too long covering a snow fall, or question if they went too early and did too much or too little on Sunday. It's difficult to actually say when enough is enough coverage.

I can tell you this: I often tell people outside of Milwaukee that here we are spoiled by good journalists doing good work, even in the most difficult of circumstances. Sunday proved that point.

BUSINESS: "MONEY with Melissa Francis" on Fox Business Network will celebrate its 100th episode today with a special live show from the TD Ameritrade Institutional 2012 Fall Regional Conference in Dana Point, Calif. If you are business-minded, you may want to check out the program beginning at 4 p.m.

TOWN HALL: WISN's Craig McKee will host a virtual town hall tonight at 5:30 p.m. on WISN.com, featuring a group of undecided voters watching and reacting to Monday night's final presidential debate.

SPEAKING OF DEBATES: WISN-TV host Mike Gousha will be the moderator for the third and final debate between senate candidate Tommy Thompson and Tammy Baldwin on Friday night. The live event will be broadcast from Marquette University starting at 8 p.m.

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