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Page One Prime
The first page of a newspaper is “prime” real estate. It’s where the most important stories are often found. That’s why it’s helpful to understand what’s behind those stories – because they matter.
Here’s some background on a “prime” story this week.
The Boston Marathon
Without question, from the moment the first bomb blast rocked the Boston Marathon last week, the event became a huge news story and it will remain so for quite some time. From the tragic injuries and deaths, to the chase of the suspects, this news event has been compelling. While last week's focus had to be on the victims and the hunt for the suspects who were found, this week's focus changes to answering one of the "5 W" questions of news. That question is "Why?" It's hard for most of us to imagine why someone would do something so heinous as to place a bomb in a public place to harm innocent people. While there are theories already about why the Tsarnaev brothers may have committed this atrocity, at this point, nothing is known for sure.
For now, there is much speculation and many rumors, but it is important that no one jumps to any conclusions until facts are in. At times like this, it's vital to understand how to read or listen to the news with a critical eye. It is important to be able to separate fact from opinion. You may read quite a bit about these two men and why they did what they are accused of doing. Were they working alone or are they part of some group? Either way, what are the reasons for attacking this event? You will read and hear a great deal about why this happened. As you read or listen, be sure to check the source of the story. Is it a believable or credible source that is backing the information with fact? Or, is it someone's opinion and not based on any facts? It is possible, because the family is of Chechen descent and also Muslim, that some people will cite ethnic or religious reasons for these actions. Sometimes, those conclusions can lead to prejudice or bad feelings about other members of those same groups. It is vital to keep in mind that no matter what prompted these men to act as they did, they do not represent any whole groups of people and no one should draw any conclusions about any whole groups of people based on the acts of two men.
Keep in mind, too, that while reading about this event can be frightening and upsetting, attacks of this kind are very rare. You are safe most of the time, at home, at school, and in public places. While bad things can and do happen, they don't usually. The fact is that it is highly unlikely that anything like this will ever happen to you or someone you love. If you get worried reading or listening to the news, keep that fact in mind.
Finally, as you read these stories, look for the aspects that are uplifting. Seek out the stories of the heroes -- ordinary people who reacted in extraordinary ways. Overall, the story of the Boston Marathon shows us the very worst but also the very best of people. It's important to keep that in mind, especially because in this event, the "good guys" far outnumbered the "bad guys." Perhaps that is what matters most of all.
What to watch for:
Reactions of people who knew these men
Ways in which technology helped law enforcement find the perpetrators
Reactions of people in the law community talking about how the suspect should face justice
What President Obama says about the people and the events
Here are today's "prime" news stories. Are any of these mentioned in your news today?
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