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NY – MEDIA – Media’s coverage of gun massacres must change

Sadly, we in the news media know just how to do it. When a mass shooting happens, even when it happens twice in a 24-hour period – even when the death toll soars into the dozens – we reflexively spring into action. We describe the horror of what happened, we profile the shooter, we tell about the victims’ lives, we get reaction from public officials. It’s difficult, gut-wrenching work for those journalists who are on the scene. And then there’s the next one. And the next one. If journalism is supposed to be a positive force in society – and we know it can be – this is doing no good. Nothing changes. If anything, the pace of these tragedies is on the rise, as Saturday’s El Paso, Texas, massacre, so quickly followed by the one Sunday near Dayton, Ohio, seemed to prove. Native Ohioan Connie Schultz, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, told me she has been talking with many thoughtful journalists over the past two days. “The only consensus: We have to change how we report all of these,” said Schultz, who is married to Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. But what, exactly, can that amount to?  [full article]

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