We could make it a crime to publish the name or picture of a mass killer (terrorist), like we just saw in Orlando, Fl. There’s no compelling need for the general public to know that information or to sensationalize a vile act. Doing so actually works against the public interest. Media headlines of outrageous crimes really do plant bad ideas into the heads of demented people, there’s no question about.
The examples we could point out coincidentally run concurrent with the media’s growing ability to inform large numbers of people over great distances. Now with television and the internet, what happens in Florida is viewed in California within minutes.
Need I remind you. . . there was a time when we had no aircraft hijackings, then there was one and it led to a rash of hijackings. Years ago, it began with the first mass killing at a school and that too led to a rash of other school shootings soon thereafter. We don’t have to play that game folks anymore. We can do better and we should!
From the Atlantic: “After a wave of teen suicides in the 1980s, news outlets began reporting on these deaths more cautiously. Similar guidelines could help prevent more shooting sprees.
You might not have noticed, but the mass media rarely reports on suicides, particularly teen suicides. When it does, the coverage is careful, understated, and dampened. This is no accident: Following guidelines endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Mental Health, the media carefully and voluntarily avoids sensationalizing such deaths especially among teenagers. They almost never make the news unless the person is a public figure; methods of suicide are rarely mentioned; suicide pacts are not reported upon.
This is for good reason: Suicide, especially among teens, is contagious. It’s a morbidly attractive idea that offers an established path of action for a troubled youngster. And we know from research in many fields that establishing a path of action — a complete narrative in which you can visualize your steps and their effects — is important in enabling follow-through.”
Of course the news media will be the first ones to cry foul if Congress proposes a law to prevent names and photos from appearing in US news, because it effects their pocketbook and nothing sells better than carnage. This is why the media’s slogan is, “If it bleeds its leads.” What would you expect? But, common sense says their needs do not always serve our needs or the needs of the nation. There are times when the media needs to cool it.
During WWII the media was far more restricted than what I am proposing, but it had to be done, nobody questions that now do they? No. Lives were at stake. Well, guess what folks, lives are still at stake and many would agree we are at war with militant Islam.
I would much rather see the names of terrorists censored from the press than my second amendment right taken away. Maybe some Congressman will take a bold step and propose this? Nah, probably not. Well, not unless Trump is elected president then he may have no choice.