9/11: Coverage pains some, helps others healWritten by Brandi Barhite | Community Ombudsman | firstname.lastname@example.org
The 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, is spawning a series of commemorative media pieces, Toledo Free Press among them.
I have heard concerns that this intense focus on the anniversary might actually be harmful to Americans.
The satirical national newspaper, The Onion, has actually stated it will not join the rest of the media in revisiting the terrorist attacks for just that reason.
“If we did something,” said The Onion writer John Krewson in an Aug. 25 article, “it would mean we haven’t moved on.”
The Onion staff gathered on Sept. 10, 2001, to celebrate the launch of an issue that was scheduled to be released the next day.
It never came out.
The next week, the staff gathered in its Manhattan offices and discussed what to do next.
Being funny was not a priority until someone suggested that “American life had become a bad Jerry Bruckheimer movie.”
That eventual headline was the inspiration behind The Onion’s famous 9/11 issue. The stories in that issue included, “Not Knowing What Else To Do, Woman Bakes American-Flag Cake,” “U.S. Vows to Defeat Whoever It Is We’re At War With” and “Rest of Country Temporarily Feels Deep Affection for New York.”
While that might have seemed inappropriate, it was just what the country needed at the time. Sometimes, remembering a painful anniversary is what Americans need.
Craig Vickio, clinical psychologist at the Bowling Green State University Counseling Center, said in an email that marathon news coverage of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 might be good for some individuals.
Those who would benefit: People capable of watching the programming in moderation, who use it to (1) attribute meaning to the events and life afterwards, (2) honor the deceased, (3) further clarify their values.
Those who might not benefit: Individuals for whom the programming would excessively rekindle thoughts associated with the tragic event, cause intrusive memories or heighten one’s sense of lacking agency (control/empowerment) in one’s life.
No matter where you fall, 9/11 is hard to forget. So whether you partake in the barrage of media coverage or simply honor it with a media blackout, 9/11 is a day worth remembering.
To ask a question, send a letter to Community Ombudsman, c/o Brandi Barhite, at 605 Monroe St., Toledo, OH 43605, email email@example.com or contact her through www.facebook.com/toledofreepress and www.twitter.com/toledofreepress.