Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How We Should Cover Mass Murders

Yesterday I began a post with this:

It might be time not to give any publicity for the killers in these mass shooting events, because of the copycat criminals and the very real possibility that what the killers want is posthumous fame or notoriety.

I didn't finish the post.  But it wouldn't have made any difference in terms of what is clearly taking place right now.  Journalists should seriously think about how to report on mass murders, to keep the focus on the victims, what was lost by their deaths, what good things they did while alive, how great the grief is for those left behind.  The perpetrator should not be the focus, if at all possible, and when it is not, the treatment should take care to avoid the type of coverage which copycat killers would wish to read about themselves.