This Charleston Newspaper Had Perfect Response to the Charleston Church Massacre

Source: AP
Source: AP

On Friday, the country continued to mourn the dead from the racially motivated massacre at a black Charleston, South Carolina, church Wednesday night. Coverage began with a manhunt for the killer, then transitioned into prayer vigils and calls for healing.

Americans, however, awoke to starkly competing media narratives Friday morning from newspapers around the country as editors and news directors struggled with how best to frame a senseless tragedy.

One paper that knocked it out of the park was Charleston's own Post and Courier, whose cover perfectly captured what everyone should really be talking about.

The powerful front page featured all nine victims prominently just below the masthead and accurately captured the grief of the community. Most telling of all, the gunman was nowhere to be found. 

While the dignified Post and Courier approach may seem obvious, many other papers around the country felt the true focus of the story should center on other things.

Source: Newseum

Focusing on the gunman isn't necessarily wrong. As the man who is accused of committing the massacre, he will always be a central part of the story. His story and motives, however, will be given a full airing when he is brought to trial. If the recent experience of the Boston bomber is any guide, it will likely be extended and painful. The shooter's constitutionally protected right ensures America will have to relive this terrible week down the road.

There won't be another moment, however, for people like Cynthia Hurd, a 54-year-old Charleston library employee, or Tywanza Sanders, a 26-year-old recent college graduate, or Ethel Lee Lance, a 70-year-old grandmother. On a national scale, they and the six other lives ended on Wednesday night have only the present to be remembered. When the massacre does ultimately fade from headlines, so too will their stories.

Their names: Ethel Lance, Susie Jackson, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Cynthia Hurd, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Myra Thompson, Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr.

Source: Facebook

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Jon Levine

Jon Levine is a staff writer at Mic, covering politics and people. He is based in New York and can be reached at JLevine@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Serena Williams responds to John McEnroe's comments saying she would rank "like 700" against men

Williams said his statements were "not factually based."

People are way less likely to be helpful when it's hot out, according to study

Sorry, it's too hot out to help you move.

Democrats, the American Medical Association and US bishops blast the Senate health care bill

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 15 million more Americans will be without health insurance next year if the bill passes.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.

Theresa May announces pact with Northern Ireland's conservative DUP

10 of the DUP's MPs will vote alongside May's party in exchange for more than $1 billion of funds.

Serena Williams responds to John McEnroe's comments saying she would rank "like 700" against men

Williams said his statements were "not factually based."

People are way less likely to be helpful when it's hot out, according to study

Sorry, it's too hot out to help you move.

Democrats, the American Medical Association and US bishops blast the Senate health care bill

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 15 million more Americans will be without health insurance next year if the bill passes.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.

Theresa May announces pact with Northern Ireland's conservative DUP

10 of the DUP's MPs will vote alongside May's party in exchange for more than $1 billion of funds.