No genre of news reporting generates the same pressures as covering trauma. Multiple casualty incidents, such as the school shootings that are the subject of this volume, challenge reporters to find words for the results of actions that might more naturally be described as unspeakable. To paraphrase MacDuff's reactions to the murder at the court of MacBeth in Shakespeare's play, what take place in the familiar, supposedly safe and mundane settings of school classrooms and corridors are horrors that neither ‘heart nor tongue can conceive of’. For journalists such incidents raise acute ethical and practical dilemmas about how to approach and interview victims and survivors in ways that are less likely to add unnecessarily to their distress. Then there are the news choices which have to be made: how does one produce narratives that are informative and compelling but that avoid playing into the agendas of the perpetrators or inspiring copycat behaviour? And on top of that – what responsibilities do news editors owe the public in assisting them to digest information which may tear through their assumptions that the world is, for the most part, a stable and orderly place?
Rees, G. (2012), "Afterword: Is Mediatization a Useful Concept for Informing Practice in Journalism?", Muschert, G.W. and Sumiala, J. (Ed.) School Shootings: Mediatized Violence in a Global Age (Studies in Media and Communications, Vol. 7), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 333-341. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2050-2060(2012)0000007019Download as .RIS
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