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The Media's Influence on School Shootings

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MostOfAll
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#1

Posted 16 April 2012 - 03:47 PM

These cases of school shootings are overexposed to the public. I'm telling you. Each time some guy goes on a killing spree at an academic facility and the media covers it extensively, there's at least one person out there planning a copycat incident.

Think about it this way. Terrorist attacks were actually quite rare. The September 11 attacks really opened up the eyes of wannabe terrorists, which influenced them to start plotting.

Of course it's always pleasant to know what's going on in the world, but I feel the wrong people are often influenced in a negative way by what they're exposed to by the media.

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#2

Posted 16 April 2012 - 03:53 PM

QUOTE (Allen14n @ Tuesday, Apr 17 2012, 01:17)
Terrorist attacks were actually quite rare.

Based on what?

El Zilcho
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#3

Posted 16 April 2012 - 03:59 PM

QUOTE (Jay @ Monday, Apr 16 2012, 16:53)
QUOTE (Allen14n @ Tuesday, Apr 17 2012, 01:17)
Terrorist attacks were actually quite rare.

Based on what?

They weren't at all - terrorism is a very common tactic and has been centuries. But I will agree that media coverage of school shootings provides the exposure and infamy that those bastards who commit them seek; but what's the alternative? Don't publicise news on something as major as that? I could never see that happening.

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#4

Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:15 PM Edited by Allen14n, 16 April 2012 - 04:18 PM.

QUOTE (El Zilcho @ Monday, Apr 16 2012, 15:59)
QUOTE (Jay @ Monday, Apr 16 2012, 16:53)
QUOTE (Allen14n @ Tuesday, Apr 17 2012, 01:17)
Terrorist attacks were actually quite rare.

Based on what?

They weren't at all - terrorism is a very common tactic and has been centuries. But I will agree that media coverage of school shootings provides the exposure and infamy that those bastards who commit them seek; but what's the alternative? Don't publicise news on something as major as that? I could never see that happening.

I'm just saying the media focuses way too much on the negativity that they seem to forget about news stories that make you smile. Are we really that pessimistic as a society? All I'm seeing is extensive focus on bad news. We'd rather focus on shootings and reality TV stars who act ignorantly as opposed to people who actually impacting accomplishments. It really wouldn't be destructive to put the spotlight on someone who has done or is doing great deeds for society. Maybe some kid would watch or read the news and feel inspired in the process. Maybe he or she would grow up to make the world a better place.

El Zilcho
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#5

Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:22 PM

It sells papers, brings in views, etc. bad news is dangerous, and people pay attention to danger. There are only so many feel good stories you can crowd onto the airwaves until you actually need to report on problematic things. The world isn't inherently good or bad; it's equal parts both. And if you're insane enough to go and shoot your classmates, I'm sure you'd do something horrific without 'inspiration' from the news. That sh*t is a classic fearmongering cop out used to denounce video games, rock, rap etc.

Vanzant
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#6

Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:32 PM

Disturbing news always catches peoples attention.

Six grader wins pie eating contest.

Guy gets beaten to death with a hammer.

Which one are you going to read about first?

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#7

Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:32 PM

QUOTE (Jay @ Monday, Apr 16 2012, 10:53)
QUOTE (Allen14n @ Tuesday, Apr 17 2012, 01:17)
Terrorist attacks were actually quite rare.

Based on what?

Perhaps compared to other tragic/sudden events in public life? You know that in the US, terrorists would have to blow up a plane around once a week to match deaths on the road.

Along with El Zilcho is saying, not only is it sensationalism because it's danger, but also because it is a very sudden and extreme event, which is why good news and bad news tends to be stuff slightly out of the norm.

I can agree with the idea that the media influences school shooters to go out and be remembered, but that doesn't mean the media should stop talking about it. It means we should do more to stop the mindset that creates school shooters in the first place. We need to put more priority on handling bullies and getting parents involved in school.

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#8

Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:36 PM

Yes let's just not report on stuff because it's bad. That is not at all how propaganda machines work.

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#9

Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:50 PM

QUOTE (Robinski @ Monday, Apr 16 2012, 16:36)
Yes let's just not report on stuff because it's bad. That is not at all how propaganda machines work.

I'm not implying they shouldn't report the "bad news." I'm saying that they shouldn't be giving that much attention. When the Virginia Tech incident happened, they were covering it 24/7 on TV. If you were a parent, would you want your three-year-old kid to know about it? Of course parents should monitor what their children watch, but you can only protect them from this stuff so much. I'm telling you. People try to ban video games for violence, profanity, etc. Why aren't the same people trying to ban these TV stations from showing graphic images?

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#10

Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:58 PM

QUOTE (Vanzant @ Monday, Apr 16 2012, 10:32)
Six grader wins pie eating contest.

Guy gets beaten to death with a hammer.

Which one are you going to read about first?

I do want to know what kind of pies they used.

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#11

Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:58 PM

I think someone else posted this not long ago, but I can't remember who or where. It's quite interesting, especially where the expert gives his opinion.



I definitely think there's way too much attention afforded to these type of things. All they need to do is say what happened, and give a name. They shouldn't show the killers face, or go into detail about their lives. If they really want something to get their grubby little paws into, then why not focus on the victims and their plight rather than giving the killers exactly what they want. They just hype it up to ridiculous levels, and it's actually kind of sick in a way.

Robinski
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#12

Posted 16 April 2012 - 05:02 PM Edited by Robinski, 16 April 2012 - 05:09 PM.

QUOTE (Allen14n @ Monday, Apr 16 2012, 16:50)
QUOTE (Robinski @ Monday, Apr 16 2012, 16:36)
Yes let's just not report on stuff because it's bad. That is not at all how propaganda machines work.

I'm not implying they shouldn't report the "bad news." I'm saying that they shouldn't be giving that much attention. When the Virginia Tech incident happened, they were covering it 24/7 on TV. If you were a parent, would you want your three-year-old kid to know about it? Of course parents should monitor what their children watch, but you can only protect them from this stuff so much. I'm telling you. People try to ban video games for violence, profanity, etc. Why aren't the same people trying to ban these TV stations from showing graphic images?

I'll agree that the sense of taste in the media is a bit messed up (you can't print the word "sh*t" on a frontpage but you can do a full-page photo of the mutilated corpse of Gaddafi). But, if you don't want a child of three seeing these things: turn off the television. Simple as that for young children. As for older children, they should be seeing the stories; being sheltered from the world sets you up for a pretty jarring experience later in life when you realise just how awful the world can be sometimes.

As for the video-game comparison, it doesn't hold up. Music, games, movies etc. are artistic works, but the news is real life. If it's true and newsworthy, you report it, no matter how f*cked up it is. And you report it in proportion to how important it is. There is the matter of judgement and taste in how you report something, but you don't sweep it under the rug because it might cause offence or make waves.

@Stu, Brooker also called for people to not acknowledge Anders Brevik, because recognition is what he wanted. The man (Edit for clarity: Brooker, not Brevik) is smart, funny and a wonderful critic/news watchdog, but he isn't a journalist,and as such holds massively different views to many in the reporting business.

El Zilcho
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#13

Posted 16 April 2012 - 05:05 PM

Why shelter your child from reality? I'm not saying make them slice up a pig to toughen them up, but what's wrong with having your kid understand bad things happen? I used to watch the news and more mature films when I was about 5 and I'm not a dysfunctional animal killer.

Maybe only a little

MostOfAll
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#14

Posted 16 April 2012 - 05:06 PM

QUOTE (GTA_stu @ Monday, Apr 16 2012, 16:58)
I think someone else posted this not long ago, but I can't remember who or where. It's quite interesting, especially where the expert gives his opinion.



I definitely think there's way too much attention afforded to these type of things. All they need to do is say what happened, and give a name. They shouldn't show the killers face, or go into detail about their lives. If they really want something to get their grubby little paws into, then why not focus on the victims and their plight rather than giving the killers exactly what they want. They just hype it up to ridiculous levels, and it's actually kind of sick in a way.

That's exactly my point. I'm pretty sure these copycats would be able to identify themselves with the killer, which eventually lead to their decision to plot. They think they'll receive attention for doing so, so they do it. Think about it. Why do people commit suicide? Many people commit suicide to send out a message because they KNOW the media will cover it. Multiple gay kids who were bullied resorted to suicide, and the media covered this so extensively that other gay kids out there received the impression that suicide is the answer.

Jay
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#15

Posted 16 April 2012 - 05:12 PM

QUOTE (OdDsOcK @ Tuesday, Apr 17 2012, 02:02)
QUOTE (Jay @ Monday, Apr 16 2012, 10:53)
QUOTE (Allen14n @ Tuesday, Apr 17 2012, 01:17)
Terrorist attacks were actually quite rare.

Based on what?

Perhaps compared to other tragic/sudden events in public life? You know that in the US, terrorists would have to blow up a plane around once a week to match deaths on the road.

It's all relative. There's more cars than terrorists.

Vanzant
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#16

Posted 16 April 2012 - 05:16 PM

QUOTE (Icarus @ Monday, Apr 16 2012, 12:58)
QUOTE (Vanzant @ Monday, Apr 16 2012, 10:32)
Six grader wins pie eating contest.

Guy gets beaten to death with a hammer.

Which one are you going to read about first?

I do want to know what kind of pies they used.

Chocolate cream pies. icon14.gif

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#17

Posted 16 April 2012 - 05:23 PM

@Rob, yh I know what you mean. (this is a general response to multiple people) I'm not saying we shouldn't cover the bad stuff, but too much emphasis is put on emotion and sensation. They turn it into a dramatic over the top extravaganza. The perfect example of this is the Raoul Moat coverage, which is probably the most excessive thing I can think of. It gives the the killers, criminals and bad guys too much power. They want the attention, it's just playing into their hands. report it fine, but don't turn it into something so sensationalist and over the top.

It glorifies and glamourises it, which also encourages copy cat killings or others to carry out their own versions because they think they'll get all the infamy as well, and that they will have their twisted cause heard.

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#18

Posted 16 April 2012 - 05:26 PM Edited by lil weasel, 16 April 2012 - 05:33 PM.

Demonizing is important for the Government to soften the public for hating the ‘Enemy’.
That’s why we can’t watch old movies on the TV now, as they have Too many references to the Former ‘Bad’ people, now ‘good’ people . (Referencing the 1950s ‘1984’.)
Government (the people forming it) likes Power, the more Power the better. A good way to get Power is to scare the bejesus out of the sheep. The sheep love to be protected. The sheep love to be led. That’s why every election has to ‘Go in a New direction’. Whiskey, Jap’s, Nazi’s, Zionist’s, Red’s, Pink’s, cigarette’s, Towelhead’s, Yankee’s, Reb’s, Sandeater’s, Baptist’s, Papist’s, Bible thumpers, the IRA, Son's of Liberty, Freedomites, Svobodniki, Sons of Freedom, et cetra, All are terrorists in their own way. It takes proper use of the various mediums to make the people hate them. And, guess what? Black Flag Operations to tilt the balance in the ‘proper’ direction.

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#19

Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:41 PM

They say "No news is good news" but "Bad news gets good views", and that is the point, you wouldn't allow Sky News or some other news company to interrupt the program you are watching just to say "BREAKING NEWS! Everything's great! Nothing bad is happening" it's got to be worthy. I can't remember the last time I saw an uplifting report on TV. confused.gif If I wanted to read a happy story I'd probably read it in the paper among the doom and gloom stories.

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#20

Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:50 PM

The news is only giving people what they want to watch, unfortunately. It's a case of the symptom being much more apparent than the disease.

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#21

Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:06 PM

There was a newspaper here in Vancouver many years ago that tried to print only "good" news. It ran out of money in it's first week.
People don't care about good news, simple as that.

On the subject of media exposing things too much, I'd say it's just as much of a "trigger" for "copycats" as anything else. Someone who's going on a rampage killing, most of the time, is not really looking to copy someone else or to make them known through copying. Someone who's going to go on a rampage is doing so regardless, they don't really need an "inspiration" for it. Censoring media to make people not go on rampages is plain stupid.

On the subject of bad news being sign of Doom, I say it's otherwise. Bad stuff making the news means people are still shocked enough by it and that they're rare enough to make the news. When we started seeing only good news, that means that the bad stuff became so commonplace that it's highly uncommon for something good to happen, thus making the news.

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#22

Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:51 PM

There was supposedly an alleged copycat case of the Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs murder of Sergei Yatzenko, a.k.a the 3guys1hammer video. People go frenzy over reading this kind of stuff sometimes. Most of the time it reminds us of how bad our world is, and sometimes it brings an influence upon others.




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