How do you feel about the way the media deals with tragedies?
“The day after Columbine, I was interviewed for the Tom Brokaw news program. The reporter had been assigned a theory and was seeking sound bites to support it. “Wouldn’t you say,” she asked, “that killings like this are influenced by violent movies?” No, I said, I wouldn’t say that. “But what about Basketball Diaries?” she asked. “Doesn’t that have a scene of a boy walking into a school with a machine gun?” The obscure 1995 Leonardo Di Caprio movie did indeed have a brief fantasy scene of that nature, I said, but the movie failed at the box office (it grossed only $2.5 million), and it’s unlikely the Columbine killers saw it. The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory.
“Events like this,” I said, “if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn’t have messed with me. I’ll go out in a blaze of glory.”
In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of “explaining” them. I commended the policy at the Sun-Times, where our editor said the paper would no longer feature school killings on Page 1. The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy.”
Also, as I mentioned in an answer to another post, My sister is schizophrenic and maybe some of you remember me talking about what happened before-it was about a year and a half ago...she was in a bad way then, her meds were jacked up, she couldn't get an appt. with her doctor and her guardian (she is a ward of the state) wasn't doing much for her and she ended up setting her apt on fire one night and left. Other apts also caught fire and it caused a lot of damage- though luckily no one was hurt. They found and arrested her, but when they reported it on the news there was absolutely NO mention whatsoever about her illness- OR the fact that she was a ward of the state. They jsut made her look crazy-and of course the pics that were posted of her were NOT flattering in any way shape or form. It was very frustrating to watch the coverage and read the stories -given that they left all that out
Answer by kmath at 12:21 PM on Dec. 15, 2012
I agree with Roger Ebert. I do feel like this coverage isn't healthy and it does influence other people with severe personality disorders.
I think it's terrible that they are interviewing children right after it happened. I also feel bad for the shooters extended family. They are calling anyone with the same last name and wanting them to explain why he did it.
Answer by RyansMom001 at 10:44 AM on Dec. 15, 2012
I feel that the media for the most part sensationalizes and manipulates the information they have to get maximum impact and attention. Things in their stories (all of the major news networks) don't always have to be factually relevant or accurate, as long as it reads well and exudes emotion.
It's easy enough to be emotional about a tragedy like the one yesterday, but more-so when inaccurate information is being spewed by news outlets just trying to be the first one's to report any piece of information. For instance they didn't wait to get accurate info about who the shooter was, instead were reporting that it was the 24 year old brother of the shooter that had committed this crime. And that the father was murdered. They all orgasm to be the first to report something without considering that they don't have the facts to back them up.
Answer by QuinnMae at 12:26 PM on Dec. 15, 2012
Answer by tessiedawg at 3:09 PM on Dec. 15, 2012
Answer by tessiedawg at 10:28 AM on Dec. 15, 2012
Answer by m-avi at 12:19 PM on Dec. 15, 2012
Answer by older at 2:43 PM on Dec. 15, 2012
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