Sunday, December 16, 2012

Where do we draw the line?

In the wake of the horrific act that occurred in Connecticut two days ago, words are beyond any explanation or grievance. How someone can do that is beyond fathom. What the parents of those innocent children who were killed are going through right now is something that no one should ever feel. Condolences and words will never suffice. May God give them strength and patience to survive each and every passing second, minute, hour, day. 

The reason I'm posting here today is because I read a something that intrigued me. It was a statement that some say Morgan Freeman made, while others say it was just a hoax and not really made by him. Regardless, I think it had some very important points. The statement tells people to turn off the news and remember the innocent lives lost. It criticizes the way the media outlets have been reporting the news. And that the shooter, and all other mass shooters, are treated like celebrities. Their name goes down and their picture goes up for making history, only to prompt the next person to top their act. It says, "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." 

It makes a lot of sense. We will always remember the Batman theater shooter because he kept being compared to Joker, giving him exactly what he wanted. Studying and working in media, this statement really affected me. I have always been intrigued with word usage in media and the the immense power it has. When a Muslim commits a horrific act, it's always labeled as "terrorism." But, when the same horrifying acts are committed by others, why is it that it always leads to a psychological disorder? We all know of the power of media, do we know the responsibility that comes with these little things like word usage and choosing what to report? 

The statement ends with, "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." Would that solve the problem? I don't think so. Turning off the news isn't the solution. However, I believe in changing the way news is delivered. Which is something that is more possible today than ever before, with digital journalism taking over mainstream news outlets. 

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