In the wake of a horrific tragedy like the Sandy Hook shooting, 24/7 media coverage is understandable. What’s not understandable — or acceptable — is the relentless media attention on the shooter, which gives him the attention he perhaps wanted (and which others may seek in his footsteps) and distracts us from structural solutions:
Following a shooting at a school in England in early 2009, a forensic psychiatrist told the BBC about his plea to media outlets worldwide:
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 localize this story to the affected community and as boring as possible in every other market.
Why don’t we listen?
Please read the full essay here.
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