Journalists reflect on coverage of mass shootings

Anniversaries of major incidents are prompting thoughts on better practices for reporting gun violence

Considering "the Columbine effect:"

"With April 20 approaching, public attention should focus on the resiliency of the Columbine survivors and community, and on lessons learned about safety and prevention."

A journalist who covered Columbine as a college intern calls it "a nightmare that we, in our rush to find a solution, helped create:"

"Even as it was happening, I remember a queasy feeling that the shooting had hacked the media’s impulses."

Maybe it's the approach to reporting that could make a difference.

"Missing from much of this coverage, some journalists and media critics argue, is an emphasis on solutions journalism, and in particular substantive examinations into how mass shootings can be prevented."

A Colorado TV news anchor is denying notoriety for the perpetrators:

"We will:
• Celebrate the lives of those injured or killed.
We won’t:
• Show any images from April 20, 1999.
• Play 911 recordings from April 20, 1999.
• Use the names or pictures of the killers."

"The threat of an active shooter on campus confronts student journalists with a perfect storm," according to CJR:

“I couldn’t be worrying about what my parents were thinking at the time of trying to also tell 20,000 other parents what’s going on.”

Photo: The Columbine Memorial in Littleton, Colorado, via Wikipedia.

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