‘He Is Not a Victim’: Our Austin Bomber Coverage Explained

Many news organizations, including our own, came under criticism from some readers last week for coverage of the bombings in and near Austin, Tex. Some said The Times’s initial reporting on the suspect, Mark Conditt, treated him too lightly or did too much to humanize him because he was white and Christian.

We invited readers to share with us their questions or comments on the reporting. We heard from about 2,000 readers. We’re running a selection of their questions with some responses from our journalists below. The questions have been condensed and edited for clarity.

Please see this as the start of a conversation. We welcome you to leave additional remarks in the comments section of this article.

Definition of Terrorism

What are your criteria for defining some crimes as “terrorism?” — Samih Kareem, Sudan

When the U.S. government calls something “terrorism” or “not terrorism,” how critically do you examine the word? — Stephen Dockery, Berkeley, Calif.

Marc Lacey, National Editor: The Times typically follows the lead of law enforcement for when to label a particular crime as terrorism, given that it has a specific legal definition.

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