Is the news media part of the problem in Ferguson?
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT) -- Was St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch right to lambast the news media for complicating the grand jury review of the Michael Brown shooting case?
A mid-state journalism professor says keeping the public informed is just part of a prosecutor’s job.
McCulloch announced Monday evening that the grand jury had chosen not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the August shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
McCulloch complained that the news media, and its insatiable appetite for new details, was his “most significant challenge” to the completion of a three-month long investigation into the shooting.
But Middle Tennessee State University Professor of Journalism Larry Burriss says McCulloch should have been prepared for the media onslaught. Burriss says it’s what public officials do.
“Part of the job of public officials is to deal with the public and deal with the public’s questions. That’s part of the job that public officials have is responding to those questions.”
McCullough noted that some case details were kept confidential as a way to test the accuracy and truthfulness of testimony given by residents who claimed to have been eyewitnesses to the shooting.