Sunday, June 21, 2015

Reporting on Mass Shootings

I have no real evidence for this, but I have a suspicion that we might have fewer mass shootings if the media spent less time talking about the shooters. Yes, the event is news and needs to be reported, but do we need to know what the shooter’s childhood was like? Do we need to read about his inner thoughts and the manner in which he planned the deed?

It seems evident that many of them were suffering from a sense of isolation, and felt that no one was paying attention to them. What better way to make people pay attention than to emulate the guy who made the headlines; the guy who everyone was talking about?
“I may be dead, but at least they’ll pay attention.”

Perhaps they should report the event, and tell us bout those who lost their lives, but say little or nothing about the shooter; maybe not even report his name. What would we lose in that process that would be worth knowing? What might society gain?

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