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Analyzing Media Coverage Of School Shootings


Flowers surround the sign at Reynolds High School.

Flowers surround the sign at Reynolds High School.

Michael Clapp / OPB

The latest school shooting, at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, has raised an issue that has come up in the coverage of other school shootings: the prominence of the shooter’s name and picture. Some people have expressed the sentiment that including a shooter’s name — or even exploring his possible motives — glorifies the act and in turn, may encourage copycat violence. That’s something that Al Tompkins at the Poynter Institute firmly rejects. He joins us to talk about how journalists can provide balanced and responsible coverage of mass shootings and other violent acts, and avoid the kind of sensational coverage that has drawn criticism.

What’s your take on the media coverage you’ve seen or heard about the Reynolds High School shooting and other mass shootings?

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