Crimea gun attack: media having a field day?

Twenty people have died in a shooting spree at the Kerch technical college in Crimea. An 18-year-old ran through the college shooting at people and set off at least one explosive. Commentators in Russian and Ukraine discuss how Russian media are covering the incident.

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Unian (UA) /

Sadly not an Ukrainian saboteur

Unian's Russia correspondent Roman Zymbaljuk believes that Russian media would have liked to exploit the shooting spree in different way:

“The biggest disappointment for the Russian propaganda and the professional anti-Ukrainian agitators has been that the crime is not a terror attack. That it wasn't carried out by Nato-trained, pitiless Ukrainian saboteurs on the orders of the White House. ... A criminal lone-wolf did it. At the same time it hasn't been ruled out that he was addicted to Russian TV, where Ukrainian 'crimes' are reported on around the clock. Because as soon as news of the emergency situation in Kerch broke, Russian TV channels began to beat the war drum and talk about Ukrainian saboteurs and terrorists.”

Nowaja Gaseta (RU) /

Journalists should exercise restraint

Political scientist Vsevolod Chernozub warns in Novaya Gazeta that the coverage of the school massacre should avoid encouraging copycat killers:

“There is only one sensible reaction to the 'Columbine' of Kerch: to completely ignore it. ... For the media, however, shootings, Columbines and other excesses provide a wonderful opportunity to gather likes, generate page views and attract the attention of insatiable information consumers. It is society that must bear the 'disadvantages' - in as far as this word can be used when talking of children's lives. Unfortunately, most Russian media are so oppressed by state controls, topic dictates and censorship that voluntary restriction of the coverage of the topics left to report on appears impossible.”