I shared this ages ago right during the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting, and I think in light of recent events the same situation applies. The quote itself was attributed to Morgan Freeman, but it was never verified.
I understand that the most recent shooting in Charleston had a clear motive, unlike the seemingly random nature of Sandy Hook, and I will agree that the issue of racism has recently exploded, which brings it to the attention of the masses and facilitates discussion, BUT I also believe that reporting the facts, and discussing the issues at hand don’t require an expose into the perpetrators life. Just as the quote below says: Making them into pseudo celebrities only furthers the glorification of violence for political and personal gain.
Talk about the issues, talk about the victims, but please aside from their names to aid in their capture and when they actually are captured, leave the criminals out of the story.
“You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here’s why.
It’s because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine? Disturbed
people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.
CNN’s article says that if the body count “holds up”, this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I’ve seen yet. Because they don’t sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.
You can help by forgetting you ever read this man’s name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news.”