Saturday, August 15, 2009

Why I Don't Usually Update Stories

Some of my readers have asked why I often don't post ongoing information about investigations into the critical incidents I blog about.  First of all, it's not true that I never update stories.  I posted additional information about the Steve McNair murder/suicide and the Ed Thomas murder, for example.  However, I have not posted available information uncovered by the investigations into the Disney monorail crash or the plane/helicopter crash over the Hudson, as counterexamples.

My rule of thumb is to write an additional post if the new information will fundamentally change or add to the discussion from a crisis response point of view.  In the case of Steve McNair, for example, the information that his death was, indeed, a murder/suicide gave the opportunity to talk about suicide, suicide prevention, and crisis intervention following suicide.

Often, the new information gained in the investigation of an incident tells us who investigators believe is to blame for the incident.  Sometimes the nature of the event is fundamentally changed by this, as it was when we learned that Ed Thomas' alleged murderer was a former student and that he had apparently been prematurely released from psychiatric care.  More often, however, knowing who may be at fault doesn't really change anything except possibly where the blame is being pointed -- and there is always blame.

While this blog is a current events blog, it is a crisis response blog as well.  Feeding blame is not something I, as a crisis responder, believe is particularly useful unless it serves some other purpose, so I choose not to do it.  There are certainly cases where I make the wrong call -- where a piece of information actually really does change the perspective on the event or where I say it does when it doesn't.  We're all human, even us Quarterbacks.


Anonymous said...

Whoa! Depressed man kills self leaves $50K to bookstore clerk ... she goes to disneyworld!!!

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Naomi Zikmund-Fisher
is a clinical social worker, former school Principal and a Crisis Consultant for schools and community organizations. You can learn more about her at
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