While guns continue to get most of the attention in the aftermath of last week's Florida school shooting massacre, there is some light now being shined on the news media's role in mass shootings. A new column in the Federalist by Rebekah Jorgensen questions whether non-stop coverage of mass shooting incidents in the media--particularly on 24-hour cable news channels--actually encourages more of them. In the piece, Jorgensen calls on the media to, "Stop letting these mass tragedies dominate the news cycle for weeks. Stop leveraging grief to try and force Congress's collective hand. Stop bickering, virtue-signaling, and trying to figure out conspiracy theories and details."
Craig Bannister, editor-in-chief of the Media Research Center's MRC-TV, believes Jorgensen has a point. He tells KTRH that while we have a free press, they should abide by an ethical code. "That (code) extends to providing fair and balanced coverage, to reporting news rather than exploiting it or putting commentary in the guise of news," says Bannister. Indeed, many in the national media did the same thing after last fall's Texas church massacre.
In the case of last week's Florida shooting, Bannister notes the wall-to-wall coverage in the hours and days that followed was often unnecessary. "The media is providing what it is calling 'breaking news,' which is nothing more than a reiteration of what is already known," he says. "I think there are other things that the media can move on to and report on until there is actual new news on the topic, and so yes, I do think that the coverage of this has been excessive and obsessive."