This is How the Media Should Always Cover Shootings

October 27th 2014

Multiple shootings occurred in Ottawa yesterday at the National War Memorial as well as outside the Parliament building. Three people were hospitalized and one solider was killed. But rather than obsess over the perpetrator, Canadian newscaster Rex Murphy doesn't even name him; instead, he lauds the victim, Corporal Nathan Cirillo, for his service. 

Normally, the playbook of most American media outlets is to play perpetual footage of a shooter’s carnage on loop, with a voyeuristic obsession over mundane elements of his or her lifestyle. 

As this video (below) dissects, the news allocates significantly more time to covering a shooter and his or her grisly antics than focusing on the more important question of how to solve or prevent such massacres. The fixation on the killer makes them an anti-hero celebrity of sorts, which only signifies to other unstable people that they can achieve fame and validation for mass-murder.

Dr. Park Dietz, a well-known forensic psychiatrist, suggests that round-the-clock national news coverage be reduced to local reporting that focuses on the particular community impacted. “Every time we have intense saturation of coverage of a mass-murder,” he said, “we expect to see one or two more within a week.” 

Maybe we should take our cues from Rex Murphy?