The first few people to speak at Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s formal sentencing hearing were the families of Tsarnaev’s murder victims including Krystal Campbell’s parents, Patricia and Bill, and the father of 8-year-old Martin Richard, Bill Richard. But one speaker you didn’t hear much about was Jennifer Rogers, the sister of slain MIT police officer Sean Collier. Jennifer’s victim impact statement was lengthy and detailed. She talked about getting a phone call at 12:08 a.m. telling her “Sean is shot, Sean is dead.” She recounted how difficult it was getting to the hospital since the city was shut down — and she told of seeing her brother lying in a hospital bed, his head riddled with bullets. And most touching  — she remembered walking down a hospital corridor to open a door where friends and family had gathered — there she found a sea of men in blue, all with their hands in their faces, sobbing.

But peppered in between Jennifer Rogers’s emotional description of how her life has been unalterably changed by the events of that night in April 2013, was a screed against the news media. She said that from the moment of the shooting her family’s life became a “media circus,” at one point calling it a “media assault.” She said their grief was treated as a  “salacious” story and that while her family was greeting mourners at the door, the news media was desperately trying to get pictures of a crying family. She said her once private life was invaded and that she was stalked on Facebook. And while she finished those thoughts by adding, “not all the media is like this” — it was a pretty broad brush.

I’m not here to defend bad, rude and distasteful behavior by my news media colleagues because I know it exists. But I will defend the coverage of the shooting death of Sean Collier and resist the characterization of any part of the story as “salacious.” To suggest that any member of the news media treated the murder of Sean Collier, or the murders and maiming of other bombing victims as something they enjoyed playing up, or showed lustful interest in, is simply incorrect.  Any time a police officer is shot or killed in the line of duty the incident gets a huge amount of attention, maybe even undue, not because of the shooting itself, but because of who they are, men and women who put their lives on the line on a daily basis. The circumstances surrounding the shooting death of Sean Collier were bizarre, almost incredible. As law enforcement is desperately tracking two domestic terrorists they brazenly dare to attack again, this time shooting an officer in the head as he sat in his cruiser on the campus of MIT. The facts of the shooting itself are brutally confounding, making an already international story just one layer bigger.

The news media is nosy, it pries. On behalf of readers and viewers everywhere the news media set out to learn more about Sean Collier and his family. And we learned a lot, thanks in large part to cooperation from his family and the friends and police force that loved him. His memorial service was carried live by local and national press as thousands of uniformed police from across the nation fanned across the MIT campus to honor his service and memory. His buddy, MBTA police officer Rich Donohue, who almost died the night of the shootout in Watertown, watched from his hospital bed. The coverage was commercial free — it was not for ratings or glory — it was for the people.

The sad fact of the matter is that when you, or someone you love, is entangled in a news story of the magnitude of the Boston Marathon bombing, your life is going to change. You will get pulled into the vortex, willingly or not. But the messenger is not your enemy.