On Thursday June 5th, 2014 at around 3:30pm Aaron Ybarra entered Seattle Pacific University and opened fire killing one and injuring 3 others before a student, Jon Meis sprayed him with pepper spray while he paused to reload. It is a terrible tragedy that has left me shaken.
Per the assigned blog prompt for this final week of classes, I chose to analyze the media coverage on this event on a national and international scale. I am comparing an article published by Fox News and one published by a UK news source, The Independent. Essentially each source gives the same information. The shooter, Ybarra, has a history of severe mental illness. The Independent gave more concise information on the history of Ybarra’s health issues. The article was very to the point and information centered, giving only a brief statement at the end regarding the effect on Ybarra’s friends and family. This article portrays him as a sick individual that is in need of help.
Fox News gives a lot more emotional information regarding the Ybarra’s history. It also presents the shooter as a sick and yet sketchy young man who instability was being treated. Ybarra’s is presented as more of a villain than suffering from mental illness. In Fox’s article, interviews were recorded from previous co-workers when Ybarra worked at shooting range. The subject stated that he would attempt to befriend high school students encouraging them to drink and go shooting. Also from a conservative standpoint they interviewed the owner of the range who stated this was so disappointing because they spend all their time teaching kids responsible gun use.
So we have two articles that present the same information in very different ways. The Independent article is straight forward giving the facts to be interpreted as the reader choses. Fox’s has it’s political spin of making Ybarra a villain who while mental unstable is still sketchy and in a way should be feared. And it adds the quote regarding responsible gun use at the range in answer to the growing gun control controversy.