shooting

Sensationalist media breeds deadly shooting sprees and encourages copycat murders - Here's how to end the madness

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 by: Carolanne Wright
Tags: shooting sprees, copycat murders, glorification

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(NaturalNews) In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, mainstream media has guaranteed more mass shootings will transpire in the future. By showcasing murderers as cult-like antiheroes, extreme acts of violence are glorified -- prompting dissatisfied and troubled individuals to act out while innocent bystanders pay the price. Crime experts and concerned citizens both agree -- a boycott of sensationalist media is essential if we are ever to curb this disturbing trend.

Excessive media coverage adds fuel to the fire

Prior to the late 1980s, mass shootings in the U.S. had limited news coverage and details of the murderer were sparse. With the upsurge of widespread live and sensational reporting, the incidence of large scale killing has sharply risen. Dr. Par Dietz, a forensic expert, warns about excessive media coverage:

"We've had 20 years of mass murders, throughout which I've repeatedly told CNN and our other media, 'If you don't want to propagate mass murders don't start the story of 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 and not to make the killer some kind of anti-hero.'"

Dietz continues, "Do localize this story to the affected community and make it as boring as possible in every other market. Because every time we have intense saturation coverage of a mass murder, we expect to see two or three more within a week."

How to short-circuit the glorification of psychotic killers

In response to the Connecticut shooting, a widely circulated anonymous statement (inaccurately attributed to the actor Morgan Freeman) addresses the problem and also offers a solution:

"You want to know why... This may sound cynical, but here's why. It's because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single victim of Columbine?

Disturbed people who would otherwise just 'off' themselves in their basements see the news and then want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he'll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody....

CNN's article says that if the body count 'holds up,' this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening.

Fox News has plastered the killer's face on all their reports for hours. Are there any articles or news stories that focus on the victims and ignore the killer's identity? None that I've seen yet. BECAUSE THEY DON'T SELL. So congratulations, sensationalist media.... you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and start remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research, instead of pointing to gun control as the main problem."

Portraits of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims can be found at:

www.guardian.co.uk

www.theglobeandmail.com

Sources for this article include:

"Why the government and mainstream media celebrate mass school shootings (and secretly want them to continue)" Mike Adams, Natural News, December 16, 2012. Retrieved on December 16, 2012 from: http://www.naturalnews.com

"Media critics say sensational news coverage encourages future school shootings" Jeff Stone, International Business Times, December 16, 2012. Retrieved on December 16, 2012 from: http://www.ibtimes.com

"Campus Violence and the Media: Examination of Journalism Ethics in Print Coverage of School Shootings" Kirsten Adams, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University. Retrieved on December 16, 2012 from: http://barrettdowntown.asu.edu

"Ethical Problems of Mass Murder Coverage In The Mass Media" Clayton Cramer. Retrieved on December 16, 2012 from: http://www.claytoncramer.com/scholarly/JMME2.htm

"Portraits of Connecticut's shooting victims" The Globe and Mail, December 15, 2012. Retrieved on December 16, 2012 from: http://www.theglobeandmail.com

"Sandy Hook elementary school shooting victims - in pictures" Guardian UK, December 15, 2012. Retrieved on December 16, 2012 from: http://www.guardian.co.uk


About the author:
Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net, she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.

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