Sunday, April 5, 2009

I'd Kill To Be Famous: Mass Murders & The Media

Exploring Psychology

(Photo Credit: Cristian Dagnino)

This post was prompted by the immigration center shooting and is informed by an episdode of News Wipe that I watched about two weeks ago. For those living outside the UK, News Wipe is produced by the BBC and is described as a thoughtful and scabrous digest of recent news events.

The episode in question addressed the media coverage of a mass shooting in a German school that left 16 people dead. It included a very informative, and as it transpired, chillingly insightful clip of forensic psychiatrist Dr Park Dietz discussing the fact that he has consistently told CNN and other news networks that if you don't want to propogate more mass murders following the reporting of a mass murder story in the media:

Do not start the stories with sirens blaring

Do not have photographs of the killer

Do not make this 24/7 coverage.

Do not make the body count the lead story.

Do not make the killer some kind of anti-hero.

Do localise this story to the affected community and make it as boring as possible in every other market.

The reason, according to Dr Dietz is because everytime there is intense saturation coverage of a mass murder, you can expect to see one or two more within a week!

Excellent advice but is it implementable?

Even if you could shape and control the nature of mainstream news reports, the fact I'm about to use Twitter to make people immediately aware of this blog post, tells me that reporting of such stories will always have an unregulated and increasingly popular alternative means of dissemination.

The News Wipe Episode Extract

Art imitating life? Natural Born Killers

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I'd Kill To Be Famous: Mass Murders & The Media

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