A Template for Problem-Solving

media_pic_2012_end_of_worldThis is a story about the media coverage, not about the tragic events that unfolded in Newtown, Connecticut. And why it’s time — it’s past time — to reboot the media.

Another mass shooting, people dead. Gabby Giffords, Columbine, Aurora movie theater, Portland mall. The media has developed a template for covering these stories now: hours and hours of coverage the first day, fewer hours and a few more details each day after that – what the shooter was thinking, what they wrote on Facebook, why they did it, perhaps a human interest story on the lives lost. Then the story ends and the media moves on.

What the media needs is a new template, a template for problem-solving, not just problem-reporting… problem-immersion… problem-ALARMING.

Fiscal cliff. Elevated terrorist levels. The “another day, another mass shooting, all too familiar” narration of the news desk anchor.

Let’s elevate the conversation we hold as a society through the media. People are getting fed up with media that doesn’t make a difference — media that fills our heads and hearts with doom and gloom, that incites the lowliest reaction, that divides us — media coverage that leaves us feeling worried, afraid, angry and powerless.

This isn’t a call to ignore the problems. This is a revolution to solve the problem.

Let’s just hope we make it through the predicted end of the world, first.

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Categories: News, Online, Print, TV

Tags: , , , , , , ,

2 replies

  1. Tom Brokaw also gets it – and gets a lot of retweets for this:

    “It is not enough to talk about access to guns. We also have to address a popular culture that treats graphic violence as routine.” @tombrokaw

  2. Joining the revolution, Morgan Freeman:

    Morgan Freeman’s brilliant take on what happened yesterday :

    “You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here’s why.

    It’s because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine? Disturbed
    people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

    CNN’s article says that if the body count “holds up”, this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I’ve seen yet. Because they don’t sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

    You can help by forgetting you ever read this man’s name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news.”

    – source: Facebook

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