Mass Shooting Essay

Decent Essays

There have been over 1,500 ‘mass shootings’ within the United States since the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, CT (Schapiro, 2017). Media headlines on mass shootings tend to utilise higher numbers when it comes to how many are committed each year, mainly when it is about those committed in the United States. The lack of an official government standard on what should be considered a mass shooting has led to much confusion as to just how many there actually are. This paper will look at how the media uses this confusion to their advantage and how they frame their reporting around a mass shooting, primarily focusing on the most recent major mass shootings of Sutherland Springs, TX and Las Vegas, NV. Also, looking at some of the less …show more content…

Those are a few of the criteria that the media looks for when broadcasting a story as it creates a shock value that draws in viewers and can create a better visual. For the Las Vegas attack, the media showed diagrams of where the “sniper” was when he began shooting (BBC, 2017), and videos quickly went viral of the concert right when the shooting began. Greer (2007) argues that with the rapid development of technology it has changed how media produces their stories, and picks crimes more on a visual bases to create a media spectacle. This could explain why those mass shootings were so widely covered.

By those media standards, the mass shootings at Plano, TX and Little Rock, AR should have been covered far more widely than it was. Both had high levels of violence with 8 killed and 1 injured in Plano, TX and 25 injured in Little Rock, AR. Unlike the first two mass shootings stated, the one in Plano, TX was over a family dispute with the ex-husband and happened in a private home. The shooting in Little Rock, AR was in a public place at a club but was started over an argument with unknown perpetrators. Murray (2017) says that in the more ordinary cases of mass shootings, those with fewer deaths and less dramatic circumstances for the killing will receive fewer media coverage. For those reasons, the media could have viewed them as not ‘newsworthy’ enough, which is why they didn’t receive near as much media attention as

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