It wasn’t that long ago that practically every workplace or school shooting was cause for both local and national media to interrupt their programs. When they did, they provided nearly non-stop coverage of the incident, whether there was anything new to report or not. To some it went on for an interminable amount of time.
I have noticed that in the last couple of years it has become so passé that rarely does it get reported. Why is that? I read about an incident in an Ohio high school that happened more than a month before I heard anything about it, despite my news alerts, involving a firearm being discharged at a student.
Here is an excerpt of an article: “Bomb threats are on the rise, recent research and media reports show. In the first half of the 2015–2016 school year, U.S. schools experienced 745 bomb threats, an increase of 143 percent compared to that same time period in 2012–2013, the last year statistics were available, according to research by Amy Klinger of the Educator’s School Safety Network.” How many of these did you hear about?
I hear incidents about workplace violence (WPV) involving firearms, rarely any other type of WPV, but rarely is it up-to-the-minute reporting. Usually it is a couple of days later. The only time I hear about it within a few hours of it happening is if it happened in Arizona or something other than just a shooting.
Fort Lauderdale was reported on because it was an airport and there were so many people killed on a slow news day. The San Antonio shopping mall shooting was reported on only because a Good Samaritan stepped in and shot one of the suspects, and is now in legal trouble for defying the mall’s firearms policy.
I believe that these incidents are not being reported on because it has become such passing news and it’s not important enough anymore…except to the local communities. The old adage about ‘If it bleeds it leads’ is apparently in full force with the media. Unless it is sensational and lots of crying, blubbering, and several people whining about “How could this have happened” and etc. it doesn’t get reported on.
I’m not trashing the entire media industry out there, but they are all guilty. They want the more interesting fiction of entertaining news (who is divorcing whom and who is banging someone else’s significant other), and finding insignificant news to put up, including far too much fluff.
What happened to the days of Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Barbara Walters, Harry Reasoner, Jessica Savitch and so many other great broadcasters? When the media reported on hard news with a few softer stories mixed in for those who wanted to hear such things?
Now we are hearing a little bit of hard news mixed in with the weather, for those who don’t know how to drive in snow, rain, fog, or whatever, entertainment news, and cuddly little puppies or kittens. Sometimes the weather drones on for 20 minutes or more because it’s raining or snowing in Arizona, admittedly a noteworthy event but… worth a third or three quarters of the broadcast?
Seldom will we ever hear about a car crashing into a cell phone store and injuring someone. Unless that incident is accompanied by a sensational video and something else occurs i.e. the driver gets out and smashes the display cases and assaults an employee while doing it. All because she had a bad day and wanted a new phone (Palm Springs, CA. January 11, 2017).
For the most part, we as a society are to blame. We have to live our lives through the misfortunes and tribulations of others to make ourselves feel better about our lives. If we build up someone as a great icon do we not stand and wait for them to get torn down to size and put in their place? After this election cycle it is soooo prevalent in the media.
Not saying that softer stories don’t have their place in the 24 second news cycle but… can’t we try not to have so many cute cuddly stories mixed with five minutes of hard news? The media, and the consuming public need to get back to the Joe Friday style of news (Just the facts ma’am) and be entertained after the news is over with the millions of entertainment and late night trash talk shows that let us live in fantasy land and feed our ego’s.
The next question should be are the incidents of WPV or SV getting smaller or less violent? Are they injuring or traumatizing fewer people, including those who could have life-long issues with PTSD, severe wounds, or similar because of it? In a fatal incident, is the blood any less red or any less being spilled or we have an abundant amount of all blood types to counteract it.
Possibly we have innumerable social service, police officers, hospital staff, counselors, and so on just standing around waiting for something to do? Or are we just becoming immune to the carnage faced by individual families and their loved ones instead of people being murdered 8,000 miles away in Iraq, Indonesia, or the Ukraine?
Am I a media critic? Nope, not by a long shot! I just know that the thousands of families that face these situations every single day of the year should be recognized. And I know that they wish a greater emphasis was placed on these incidents so that no other family has to go through the bullying (physical, verbal, and cyber), harassment, assaults (physical and verbal), or the threat of death in a bomb hoax or some other idiocy because someone didn’t want to take a test or get out of facing a work deadline.
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I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear