Is self-censoring on mass shootings a slippery slope?

I read with interest a recent article by Poynter Institute, a nonprofit journalism organization, entitled, “Not naming mass shooters (much) is now the norm.” It was accompanied by the following tweet from Poynter’s account: “For an industry that is often criticized for being slow to change, this development is remarkable.”

“In a pivot from coverage of years past, the shooter’s name often isn’t mentioned at all,” notes Poynter’s Kelly McBride. “In the small number of stories where journalists deem the name relevant, it usually appears one-third of the way into the story. Suspect names rarely appear in headlines, teasers or tweets.”

The idea behind this is that the media should not give publicity to mass-killers because that is what the killers seek — attention, fame — and doing so can encourage others to copy them.

McBride is careful not to endorse some sort of wholesale media censorship of the names of shooters. But it seems to me we’re getting pretty close to that.

I worry about a bigger picture — that we may be cheering on censorship of public information under the guise of “the public good.”

Read the rest of the article in The Hill by clicking the link below:

Censoring Mass Shooters: A Slippery Slope?

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4 thoughts on “Is self-censoring on mass shootings a slippery slope?”

  1. Once again the media shows how clueless they are. Not airing the name of a criminal won’t matter much to them. THEY know who they are. THEY see the rewards of their actions on TV 24 hours a day for days on end, then the frequent reminders over the years. They know that their names can be easily found by those who want to know.

    The problem is the feeding frenzy of media personalities with an agenda to push. The 24 hour coverage of speculation and reposting random Facebook posts and tweets and rumors as if they were facts. The inane interviews loaded with the same stupid questions of families of victims or survivors.

    This is FAR different from actual reporting. A report is “There was a shooting at today where people were killed and people were injured. Among the victims are . The shooter is in custody (or killed, or whatever status). In other news . . .

    What the media is doing is exploiting people, capitalizing on their deaths and agony for ratings and revenue, as well as encouraging (and instructing) future shooters.

  2. More importantly, the fact that over 90% of the mass shooters are taking, or withdrawing from psychotropic drugs is being censored, hiding the real problem. This is according to Dr. Peter Breggin, author of “Medication Madness: the role of psychiatric drugs in cases of violence, crime, and suicide”, and Dr. Gary G. Kohls, MD, (retired), in a series of articles “Drugs and Guns Don’t Mix: Medication Madness and Mass Shootings”, in, October 5, 2017, and “Psych Drugs and Guns Don’t Mix”, published on April 5, 2018.

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