NBC defends broadcasting Virginia Tech shooting video

The head of NBC News has defended the broadcaster's decision to air images, writing and video from the Virginia Tech gunman, Seung-Hui Cho.

NBC News president Steve Capus, who appeared on yesterday's broadcast of "The Oprah Winfrey
Show," said broadcasting the video was "good journalism" and the network showed restraint.

Capus acknowledged that the images that "wallpapered" the media were
uncomfortable to view.

"Sometimes good journalism is bad public relations," he said. "These are very difficult decisions.

"Remember, this was days after the incident. The largest question out there was 'Why?"'

Capus said the package from Cho arrived at the New York headquarters at 11am two days after the shooting. NBC officials sifted through the material and waited until 6pm to air parts of it.

NBC decided to show two minutes of 25 minutes of video, seven of 43 photographs and 37 sentences of 23 pages of written material.

Capus was joined on the Oprah Winfrey programme by NBC Nightly News
anchorman Brian Williams

Williams, who said the repeatedly shown images became too much for his family to watch, said the story was too important not to air.

"However uncomfortable it is, it proves this was journalism," Williams said. "This was news and a material advance in the story."

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