Before I start, I should state that I of course feel badly for the Newtown community and especially for those who had friends and family in the school. I have nothing new to add to the piles of sympathy they have already received. I do, however, wish to point out that the media made things worse.

Starting about noon yesterday, reports started to filter in about a school shooting in Connecticut. So, let's review how this story would have worked in 1980, on the dawn of the cable news era:

- Shooting occurs. Local police schedule a press conference, which local newspaper, TV and radio reporters would dutifully attend to learn the "official" details.
- Afterwards, reporters look around the scene for people to offer their comments.

- After that, a 3 paragraph story moves on the AP wire. It would look something like this:

A lone gunman entered a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school on Friday morning and opened fire, injuring or killing dozens.  Few details are available at this time, but at a press conference, police chief (Name here) said the suspect was among the dead.  No motive had been determined.
(Name here) described the scene inside the school during the attack to the AP: "First hand account here."
Another witness at the scene said the suspect carried what appeared to be a machine gun.  Police believe the assailant drove to Newtown from his home in New Jersey, and are hoping to interview family.  They have not confirmed whether the suspect has a criminal past.

The TV stations would have some film of the press conference, the PM newspapers some stills of the school's exterior. No more information would likely come out until a second press conference late in the evening, but in time to make for longer stories in the morning papers, with several sources and maybe a hundred words of analysis.

Now, let's review what happened yesterday. Before I go on, I should note that I did not watch this unfold in real time. Most of the below information was gathered from meta-reporting.

Around noon ET, stories begin to appear about a school shooting in Connecticut with almost zero details. By 2pm ET, we think we know who the shooter is, and have a basic idea of how many casualties. Soon after that, we learn that the shooter's identity has been mistaken by the local police. The shooter had apparently taken his brother's ID with him.

I'd like to pause there and reflect. The name of the gunman was published in hundreds, nay, thousands of outlets worldwide - all because the police department didn't do their job post-facto.

Lesson for police spokesmen around the country: release no details until you're absolutely sure. Lesson for journalists around the country: being wrong just because everyone else was wrong isn't a good excuse.

President Obama schedules a statement for 3:15 ET, a lightning quick turn for the President of the United States.

In the middle, we get TV reporters trying to extract stories from 5 year-olds. This should never have been permitted. Not by the producers at the TV station, not by the parents of the kids, not by the photojournalists, and not by the reporters. Responsible journalism is supposed to be a part of the curriculum in journalism school, and this was something most bloggers wouldn't even fathom.

By about 4pm ET, the story is running out of steam, and the broadcast networks return to regular programming. Many local stations continue coverage during their 4pm local news. Reporters have had time to fan out across the country to find out why the local school is safer than the one in Newtown, and interview local experts on criminology and psychology.

At 6:30, the network newscasts take the air. Due to the short distance between New York and Newtown, all of the name anchors are there, and many of the newscasts are extended to one hour.

In prime time, coverage shifts to the cable networks. I couldn't bring myself to watch MSNBC or FOX News, but I can imagine the sort of things hosts on both networks were saying. I didn't really want to watch CNN either, but it was on at the gym. Here's what I saw: Piers Morgan interviewing two authors at the same time, one arguing for more gun control in the general population, and one arguing to repeal the ban on guns in schools.

Morgan all but physically attacked the pro-gun guy.

Morgan also had a former friend of the shooter (apparently last contact was 8 years ago!) and some psychologists. So, here's what you have, less than 12 hours after the shooting. You have authors hawking their books on CNN. You have psychologists and former friends psychoanalysing a suspect with whom they had nothing in common, also on CNN. You have Piers Morgan rah-rahing British laws on gun control, still on CNN.

For the 11pm news, my ABC affiliate, WEHT, spent their entire A-block on the shooting, despite ABC having just aired an hourlong 20/20 special live from Newtown. When it was time for sports, anchor Brad Byrd made some comment about how it must have been hard to cheer for a basketball team tonight in the wake of what happened in Connecticut.

The problems, as I see them with yesterday's media coverage:

- Too fast, too furious

Only in a 24 hour news cycle would the wrong shooter's name have been so widely disseminated. The time between the wrong name being reported and the right name being reported was about an hour. Also, the media moved much to quickly toward analysis.

- Too much

In a 24 hour news cycle, you must have 24 hours worth of content. And this story could not provide it on its own. There was no explosion to show on film over and over again. No one to turn into a hero. Very few eyewitnesses who were willing or able to provide their version of the story. Not much other than to watch the casualty count rise.

And so, despite consumer demand, CNN and the others would have put together better coverage by putting together less coverage. Maybe 15 minutes out of an hour. Throw out the authors, keep one psychologists, and most certainly do not try to equate 5 year-olds to college students.

- Too invasive

I've written a thousand words without even mentioning how offensive it must be to be a friend or relative of one of the victims, and receive an interview request in the first 12 hours. http://dailycaller.com/2012/12/15/abc-ny-times-reporters-go-full-on-vulture-tweeting-friends-family-of-connecticut-massacre-targets/

Just because the Daily Caller only caught a couple of these incidents, I bet every news organization was contacting these poor people. Fortunately, the young victims' names were not released at that time, but they are expected to come out today - giving yet another opportunity to pour on.