Friday, December 07, 2007
The news world hands them stardom
Romenesko has this post linking to a pair of columns that are critical of the coverage of the shootings at the mall in Nebraska. Both say that the media are focusing too much on the killer, with one writer arguing that the killer remain unidentified.

Although I am not sure removing the shooter's name is all that helpful, I am sympathetic to these viewpoints. Much of the coverage has focused too much on the killer, and has been especially awful in this way. Several hours after the killings, the centerpiece at the site was a mug of the killer with the headline borrowed from his suicide note: "Now I'll be famous." Earlier today, the site's top story was about the 911 calls from frightened shoppers — the sort of material that local TV news uses to sensational effect.

By playing up the killer and the chaos and shock that he created, and others give him exactly what he wants. Shootings in shopping malls are news. They can be reported and edited, however, with sensitivity and dignity — and that can be done without (as Morrissey once sang) handing the killers stardom.
posted by Andy Bechtel at 10:57 AM | Permalink |