NBC News President Statement

1 decade 1 year 2 months ago Sunday, April 22 2007 Apr 22, 2007 Sunday, April 22, 2007 10:52:37 PM CDT April 22, 2007 in News
I want to take a moment to explain our decision. I assure you it was not taken lightly. It was only done after careful consideration and with great sensitivity to the families and friends of the victims and the entire community of Virginia Tech.

Beginning yesterday [Thursday], we substantially limited our usage of the video across NBC News, including MSNBC to no more than a few seconds every now and then if even that much.
 
It is important to note, NBC News has broadcast only a small fraction of the material we've received. In total, there are more than 45 photos, more than 23 minutes of video tape and 23 some pages of written materials. We selectively chose certain limited passages and material to release.
 
Prior to the release, we worked very closely with law enforcement authorities. They asked us to remain silent about the material until they had a chance to review the content. We naturally abided by that request. We handed over to the FBI all of the original documents in a quick manner with
the expressed desire to do anything to help investigators. Indeed, we appreciated the acknowledgement by the Virginia State Police during their press briefing yesterday [Thursday], of our handling of this incident.
 
Some 7 and 1/2 hours passed before we aired the first video from the material, and again it was done in an extremely limited manner. Our Standards and Policies chief reviewed all material before it was released. One of our most experienced correspondents, Pete Williams handled the
reporting. We believe it provides some answers to the critical question, "WHY did this man carry out these awful murders?" The same decision to run
this video was reached by virtually every news organization in the world, as evidenced by their coverage on television, on websites and in newspapers.
 
The limited video we've released clearly demonstrates this was an individual whose smoldering hatred was ready to boil over. Perhaps sharing it with the world will help to open our eyes to important warning signs.

The pain suffered by the Virginia Tech community and indeed the country is real and will last forever. I believe our coverage to date has been handled with great sensitivity. We are committed to nothing less.
 
I hope you appreciate our difficult position - and that this e-mail offers some understanding.
 
- Steve Capus

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