"Rampage shooters crave the spotlight, and we should do everything possible to deprive them of it."
By ARI N. SCHULMAN
"How might journalists and police change their practices to discourage mass shootings? First, they need to do more to deprive the killer of an audience."
I've never been to North Korea but I am willing to bet real money that their television reporting is better than ours. If you live outside the United States you wouldn't believe how bad television reporting is here. And a public shooting that involves multiple victims is the cue for national cable TV stations to switch to nonstop coverage of the event -- for days and nights on end.
Yet there have been enough studies done on the direct connection between large publicity for public mass killings and copycat killings that I believe TV producers know their way of reporting on the killings is literally making a market for them.
I've written before about the situation, pleading with major advertisers to complain to TV corporations about this kind of coverage, and I included excerpts from an article from The Wall Street Journal to back up my argument. That made no dent. Best I can do is try again but this time I'm republishing the entire article, only I'll first feature the author's eight recommendations for discouraging the publicity hounds, and number them.
Rampage shooters crave the spotlight, and we should do everything possible to deprive them of it.
November 8, 2013
The Wall Street Journal
Public shootings have become a familiar American spectacle in recent years, and two more occurred in recent weeks. The details are still unfolding, but so far these episodes seem to fit the general pattern. At Los Angeles International Airport, a young man entered a public area and started firing. Three days later, in the midst of intense media coverage of the first event, another young man did the same at a shopping mall in suburban New Jersey. One penned a note beforehand about his actions, the other a manifesto. Only the L.A. shooter appears to have meant to kill others, but both apparently planned to die in highly publicized blazes of terror.