On media coverage of mass shootings

How the 24-hour news-cycle is part of the system that gives rise to mass shootings.
 

Dr Park Dietz, a forensic psychiatrist, outlines the guidelines for news reporting of such a tragedy, assuming that your aim is to prevent further ones:

If you don’t want to propagate more mass murders…
Don’t start the story with sirens blaring.
Don’t have photographs of the killer.
Don’t make this 24/7 coverage.
Do everything you can not to make the body count the lead story.
Not to make the killer some kind of anti-hero.
Do localise this story to the affected community and as boring as possible in every other market.

 

 

Roger Ebert on how the press reports mass killings:

“Events like this, if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs … When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song … The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn’t have messed with me. I’ll go out in a blaze of glory.”

In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of “explaining” them.
 
 

Parents who are horrified by real violence are drowning their children in simulated violence
The great contradiction in the recent Newtown, Conn. elementary school shooting is that many of the parents who are horrified at violence directed at their children are the very same parents who allow their children to inundated with simulated violence from every imaginable direction

Learn more:   Natural News
 
Gun control? We need medication control! Newton elementary school shooter Adam Lanza likely on meds; labeled as having ‘personality disorder’
In mass shootings involving guns and mind-altering medications, politicians immediately seek to blame guns but never the medication. Nearly every mass shooting that has taken place in America over the last two decades has a link to psychiatric medication, and it appears today’s tragic event is headed in the same direction.

Learn more:   Natural News
 
 
 

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About benvitalis

math grad - Interest: Number theory
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