prayer service newtown connecticut Parishioners worship at a prayer service in Newtown, Conn.  (Mario Tama / Getty Images)

The Pew Research Center is reporting a surge in public interest in the Newtown massacre — more, in fact, than in any mass shooting since the April 1999 Columbine shootings in Littleton, Colo.

The numbers pack little in the way of surprise. Information, after all, is essential to processing what happened on Friday. In a news conference today, Connecticut State Trooper Lt. J. Paul Vance alluded to the closure that more details will bring to the affair. Referring to a wide-ranging and ongoing investigation, Vance noted, “The answers are for the poor victims, the families, the people of Connecticut that need to know and see a clear picture as to exactly what happened here.”

The media that has descended on Newtown, too, plays a role in providing answers, and hopefully more accurate ones than those that turned up on Friday. As the story wears on, and Newtown tires of all the satellite trucks, more and more folks will bemoan the blanket coverage. On the always-provocative Romenesko site, an ex-tabloid reporter suggests a reportorial pool in Newtown, instead of the chaotic situation that now prevails. Count the Erik Wemple Blog out of any such arrangement. Shared reporting resources would diminish the likelihood of this New York Times story or this Hartford Courant story seeing the light of day.

(h/t Poynter)