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As the saying goes, violence begets violence and as the Guardian said almost 3 years ago “Evidence is emerging that suggests even the reporting of violence can trigger further attacks… sensationalist media coverage of acts of terrorism results in more acts being committed.” Said study was supposed to prompt further debate about the response to atrocities but after 232 school shootings occurring in America alone since this article was written it doesn’t seem to have done this.
Different types of terrorist activity were found to have different media impacts. In a letter from Michael Jetter, a professor at the school of economics and finance at Universidad EAFIT in Medellin, Colombia, he found that suicide missions receive much more media coverage, just look at the viewing figures for the Manchester Bombing on the tabloid papers websites and look at how much extra money they gained from the additional sales due to the attack. He also noticed how less attention is given to attacks not in countries such as the US or the UK. In the letter he pointed out that 42 people die every day from terrorist attacks whereas 7,123 CHILDREN die a day from hunger-related causes but this does not get the attention that the terror attacks do because “violence sells”.
He said, “Media coverage of other events that are causing more harm in the world should not be neglected at the expense of media marathons discussing the cruelties of terrorists.”
According to Matthew Ricketson, professor of communication at Deakin University, when it comes to revealing the full impact of current gun policies, the media’s role in changing American attitudes simply isn’t clear-cut.
‘In today’s era of digital disruption, only one thing’s certain: in America’s war on mass shootings, the media’s current approach is doing little to bring about effective change,’ he says.
Ricketson says that mainstream media outlets need to be more active, balanced and ethical in calling out mass shooting realities, showing US citizens the full impact of current gun policies, and in maintaining the pressure after the first headlines hit the newsstands.
‘The current news cycle around mass shootings is very predictable. There’s a clockwork-like process where the event happens and is reported on, then very quickly pop-psychology gets airtime. The prerequisite “thoughts and prayers” are up next, and then the NRA weighs in. In this way, a balanced, honest narrative gets hijacked.’
Prof. Ricketson says current media news cycles are now such a deep-rooted problem in the search for accurate commentary, that there needs to be a drastic change in newsrooms to disrupt them and achieve real change in US gun culture and acceptance.
American media “celebrities” mass shooters by showing their name and image when media such as NBC and ABC gain this information.
Companies use violence to get into someone’s head as whenever you see violence on the news, whether that is a mass shooting in America on the news at 6 or a man walking into a bar chucking a beer glass which hits someone and causes the person hit to get stitches on Look North, you stay watching as it triggers the sympathy instinct that everyone has. Because it’s dramatic. Because it keeps you hooked. Because it increases the viewing figures. Its psychological in the end as all news should be. Just imagine when you heard that Donald Trump was coming to these fair shores for a state visit. Try to remember the feeling you had when you heard that. That is what the BBC, NBC and ABC want, as it increases the amount of money they get from the viewers.
When media realizes that extra money can be made when covering atrocities, or other such events, and thus started overusing this until it started to be well overused. As you know they kept doing it anyway.
Overall, mainstream media does this to get more money, as money makes the world go around, by selling more papers or getting more clicks.
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