Very sad day indeed. No one I knew was a victim.
And then here are 3 rebuttals to that claim:
Decide for yourself.
Whether they are or are not more common, I have 2 things to say about how the media covers these types of events:
First, the initial "reporting" borders on journalistic malpractice...in the first 6 hours, what is usually "reported" as "facts" ends up being completely wrong. From the number of victims, type of weapon, number of perpetrators, identity of the perpetrator, etc., etc.....but for some reason, they keep doing it without accountability.
I understand the seriousness of the incident, but Jon Stewart had an absolutely hilarious - and more importantly spot on - commentary on this last night: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tu...rongnado---cnn
I said "malpractice"...Stewart claims, rather compelling, that it is intentional to generate ratings. And then, when you do the moral math (generating ratings on the tragic deaths of innocents), if true, you have to wonder how these TV executives and reporters sleep at night.
Second, I was in Niagara Falls last spring and witnessed a person contemplating suicide at the falls edge. He never jumped, but he managed to shut down the popular tourist attraction for the better part of a day while he stared into the abyss. The next day, I was curious about who he was, where he was from, etc. and found absolutely zero information in media. I did some research and found that when it comes to suicide and attempted suicide at famous landmarks (Niagara Falls, the Golden Gate bridge, etc.), the police have successfully convinced the media to refrain from reporting the events because it clearly leads to copy-cat behavior. Now, people are going to find ways to kill themselves, so the point is not so much to prevent the act, but to prevent it from shutting down the Golden Gate bridge at rush hour.
Does anyone think there is something similar with the way these events are reported? The guy that does the killing is guaranteed to have his name and picture on the front pages of every single paper in the US (if not the world). The killer at Va Tech actually made a video of himself right before his spree...and the media actually ran it. I understand the nature of the event means it needs to get reported, but I wonder if there are some standards that could be put into place so as not to - for lack of a better word - "glamorize" the person that did the killing for all the world (literally) to see.
Just a couple of things on my mind....