In a recent post, GetReligion editor Terry Mattingly highlighted the post-9/11 tensions faced by journalists covering the Oklahoma beheading case. Tmatt noted certain national news organizations' tendency to focus on a particular news template, be it "workplace violence" or "global terrorism."
But he pointed out the importance of reporters digging into the case — and the suspect's background — without prejudice.
The goal: producing the crucial basic facts.
In following national media reports, tmatt has found most news organizations relying almost exclusively on police, prosecutors and prison officials for their portrayals of the beheading suspect. See this Washington Post story, for example.
Here in Oklahoma, though, The Oklahoman has focused on peeling back every possible layer of the onion. In ongoing, front-page coverage, the Oklahoma City newspaper has approached the story from a variety of perspectives, including Muslim leaders as well as the suspect's relatives, friends and neighbors.