Do you think the media gives shooters too much attention?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by abijnk, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    #1
    With the recent news coverage about the shootings in Omaha, Nebraska (Link to CNN story), I was thinking about how much time the media dedicates to school shooters, mall shooter, etc etc and how little time they give to the innocent victims of such events.

    The first big shooting incident I remember is the Columbine school shooting. By the end of the day, I felt like I knew when those boys took a crap, when they got up in the morning, whether or not the tied their shoes in a double knot, etc etc. But I remember very very little about the victims. Soon after, there were even several sites dedicated to praising the "work" of Klebold and Harris.

    At times like these there is always talk of "copy cat shootings," so my big question is, then why does the media give so much airtime to the shooters? Don't they realize that this is just giving potential copy cats more and more to "identify" with? Why wouldn't they focus on all the people who lost their lives and all the devestation that the shooters cause?

    With this most recent incident, the suicide note left behind mentioned being famous. Now, of course the more correct term would be infamous, but still, he is somewhat right. Not too many people get that much airtime on the major news networks. And whats more, the people who are in a mental state to want to do a copy-cat shooting don't necessarily make the distinction between famous and infamous.

    What do you guys think? Does the media give shooters too much attention?
     
  2. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #2
    the media isn't about reporting news..its about getting people to watch....shooter get more people's attention
     
  3. abijnk thread starter macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    #3
    Well, I didn't specifically say this because I thought it to be an obvious and well known fact. But my question is more to the effect of, do you think this is grossly irresponsible. I, for one, do...
     
  4. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #4
    And I agree with you.
     
  5. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #5
    I was having this discussion in the waiting room at the repair shop today. The reason these people go on shooting sprees is to get attention. They know that the media will say their name and give them the glory they want. The only way to stop them is not to give them the satisfaction they want.
     
  6. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #6
    Have you seen "Natural Born Killers"?

    Oliver Stone did an incredible job showing how the US glorifies wanton violence.

    It's all fine and dandy to talk about the nameless, faceless media being responsible for their "fame". However, almost every blog and every forum that I read on a regular basis has brought the case up. The media only focuses on it because their customers want it.

    I've been doing a lot of family history research and the headlines in the newspapers back in the 1800s and early 1900s are no different than they are today. Full of sensationalist crap, crap that sells newspapers.

    Hangings used to be public and were huge affairs, akin to holidays.

    People and the media are the same as they've always been.
     
  7. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #7
    It's because both media and public consumption don't buy in to human depravity that keeps them in utter disbelief and in the amazing delusion that something like this is actually "news worthy". And, it also sells.
     
  8. abijnk thread starter macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    #8
    Bringing the case up is one thing, but giving every detail of the killers life, bringing up where they were fired from last, how they held the burger flipper at that job, etc etc etc is different than acknowledging that it was a tragic event and discussing that side of the issue. That's what I am talking about.

    I don't disagree with you. People feed off of this stuff and it makes a lot of people a lot of money. But that doesn't make it right :)
     
  9. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #9
    Agreed. They want attention, the media gives it to them. Sometimes I wonder if the media said something along the lines of "There was a shooting at a mall today, 9 people are dead including the shooter" and left it at that, if these things would continue happening.



    There are better ways to gain your 15 minutes of fame. Like a really horrible audition at American Idol. Not only will you get your attention, no one will die and you'll be alive to enjoy it.
     
  10. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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  11. abijnk thread starter macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    #11
    Are you sure no one will die??? Have you ever watched American Idol??? ;)
     
  12. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #12
    The trouble is that those of us living in the community affected (I live in Omaha) want to know what in the heck is going on while the police cordon off the area and copters are circling. The national media picks it up and then it spreads like wildfire.

    What we going to do? Throttle the press and prevent reporting of any kind?
     
  13. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #13
    I know just what you mean, Swarmlord. I think some of it is the pressure to get something on the air or in print long before the actual "true facts" are known. That is, facts beyond just the bare bones of, "A guy shot some people."

    I think some of it is the writing style. Much of what is written seems better suited to a lurid novel than to basic reporting of known facts.

    About the only change from Charles Whitman's foray in 1966 and today is the amount of media that's "out there". More radio, more TV, and now the Internet. Thus, far more competition to get peoples' attention--which, I think, leads to the overblown style of the coverage.

    Personally, I'm little interested in these interviews with those who didn't see anything, but could go on at great length about the yelling and screaming they heard, or how they hid in a closet. What's the point? The "How does it feel...?" style of interviewing instantly has me hitting the channel-changer.

    It's none of my business as to how some person feels about tragedy. I sometimes wish an interviewee would come back with, "Hey, wow, it was really neat, y'know?" I'd like to see the look on the reporter's face. Alternatively, "How do you think it feels, you stupid (bleep)?

    I've commented before about the "instant gratification" aspects of our society. News is very much a part of this. The problem is that it can take far more time to ascertain the facts than the Instanters want...

    'Rat
     
  14. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    #14
    I agree with you. I have a couple reporter friends, who talked with people at Columbine, and some of them actually did come back with "How do you think it feels?" Those people are, of course, NOT the ones edited in to the newscast...

    Very true.
     
  15. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    This is the first I have heard of this story. I guess that means that you have spread the media coverage of this story to one additional person thus conducting in the very act you are complaining about -- making this shooter even more (in)famous.
     
  16. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #16
    imac/cheese, does that mean you've not checked headlines, these past couple of days? :D
     
  17. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    It means just that. I recently came to the conclusion that reading the headlines seldom ever produces any enjoyable reading so I have decided to avoid those main headline pages.
     
  18. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Yup. At my age, there's a lot of, "Hmmm. Same old stuff. Only the names have been changed, to protect the guilty." :)

    'Rat
     
  19. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #19
    This is surprising?

    Has no one heard of "if it bleeds, it leads"?

    And yet people still blame "theliberalmedia" for not showing "thegoodnews" from Iraq when there is so much bleeding.
     
  20. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #20
    Actually we blame the media for not showing news in Iraq now that there is very little bleeding there.
     
  21. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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  22. mactastic macrumors 68040

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    #22
    Yeah, I mean what's an American life a day? It's a small price to pay, isn't it?

    Oh yeah, and 19 people were killed by a bomb the other day. I suppose that's "very little bleeding"? If that happened in America, would it not engender days if not weeks worth of coverage?

    And please. You and others on the right have been complaining about the supposed "lack of good news" since long before the surge started. Don't try this revisionist history crap and tell me you're only complaining "now that there is very little bleeding there". Spare me the sob story.
     
  23. mactastic macrumors 68040

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    #23
    God says that would not be acceptable.
     
  24. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #24
    As mactastic and others have pointed out, this isn't a new problem. "The media" runs this kind of story into the ground presumably because we the people are tuning in and watching.

    I think the real question to ponder, then, is why we're so fascinated with the details of the shooter's life and what might have motivated him to do what he did. Do we think that if we just get enough information about his background, that we'll somehow be able to make sense of it?
     
  25. abijnk thread starter macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    #25
    Um, no, actually, I haven't... I have no problem with them reporting the news. After all, it is actually news. I have a huge problem with a suicide note saying "now I'll be famous" and wtf do ya know, he is. It isn't right.

    I thought this was an interesting observation, and that it would warrant some discussion about what lines the media crosses. This is not me blaming the media for anything, not me saying I think nothing should be reported or condoning censoring the media. Its about common sense. Telling me when this idiot took a dump each day doesn't tell me anything about what happened. I don't need or want to hear some girls who lived in the same place as this guys say how he was a "good person." Now, I understand what everyone is saying. This stuff sells, it really does, which is a topic for another say. My point is, when we can sit here and clearly acknowledge that there will be copy cats out there, which people have been talking about since day 1, and yet feed into the very thing that will set others off is irresponsible. Now, I am not walking around telling other "troubled teens" what this guy did as a "solution" to his problems, I am simply asking why we are letting the media do this. They should be held accountable for what they put on the air, plain and simple.

    I'm not complaining, I am stating a fact, and was seeking others opinions on what I see to be an issue.
     

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