Andrew Marr in the Telegraph nicely summed up my feelings as I quickly scanned pages of coverage of the Virginia Tech killings. He writes:
One of the endless problems of journalism is the awful, big event which is basically resistant to analysis, as in the Virginia university massacre. Rightly, any newspaper or TV organisation thinks it should show respect, and “proper news values”, by describing the killings and the killer at some length. But it’s also one of those stories which, frankly, tells us absolutely nothing about the human condition we did not already know, and has nothing to say about life here in Britain.
…Yet because of the awesome number of deaths we will now have printed acres and broadcast hours of journalism scrabbling for something to say.
Perhaps we need a new typeface which announces: dreadful, nothing to add.