Name or No Name?

Within the past year, there has been a pattern of gun violence reports in the news. Shootings at malls, theaters, and schools have shocked the nation.

Adam Lanza with the Sandy Hook shooting and James Holmes with the Aurora Theater shooting are just a few of the many killers that the media has made known.

These shooting rampages have been publicized by the media to keep people updated on what happened and who did it. Unfortunately, many people do not agree with this rule. In recent cases, journalist Christopher Hanson has reported that around 4,300 people have signed a petition to black out killers in news report.

Why can’t people know who killed innocent children or people waiting to enjoy a movie? Why do they have to be blacked-out?

Columnist David Brooks from the New York Times mentioned that the media should not mention their names because it attracts copycats. These copycats want their time of fame and glory, so they will be more tempted to make their mark and grab the attention of the public. Even if the media decides to not mention these killers to not give them attention, the crimes that were committed are still going to be publicized. This means that the killers will still be proud because they crime they committed will still be known. The next action would be for journalists to not even mention the crime itself and that’s not something journalists want to hide because citizens have the right to know. I agree that people should have the right to know who killed their neighbors, friends, and family members.

As a journalist’s job, we work to reveal the truth and be as accurate and clear as possible. Not mentioning names will make the stories vague and lack profoundness. Not only that, but like Hanson mentions, we can say goodbye to the five Ws.

Do you agree that the names of killers should be blacked-out? Do you think that the media is to blame for the copy-cats that are emerging? Is the media the killer?


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