Lee & Ogles resolution calls on media to engage in responsible and voluntary journalistic practices
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN) introduced a resolution urging the media to engage in responsible and voluntary journalistic practices to deny mass public murderers the attention they seek and to minimize the potential ‘media contagion effect’ caused by sensationalistic reporting. The resolution aims to encourage a more balanced and ethical approach to reporting on violent incidents and to play a role in preventing the incitement of further acts of mass violence.
Of the resolution, Sen. Mike Lee said, “By refusing to give mass murderers the attention they desire, we can effectively combat the ‘media contagion effect’ that fuels more violence. Research shows that such irresponsible coverage can ignite violence and perpetuate a dangerous cycle of copycat killers. To break this pattern, we must advocate for a more balanced and ethical approach to reporting violent incidents, denying these cowardly perpetrators the spotlight they crave and ultimately preventing future occurrences of mass murder.”
“There is an epidemic of evil people motivated by perverse beliefs to wreak havoc on the lives of innocent people. Just a few short months ago, the Covenant School in Nashville was robbed of six precious lives in a horrific act of violence. The media was quick to report on the incident, combing for every gritty detail that could be uncovered about the shooter and her motivation,” said Congressman Ogles. “This resolution simply asks the media to do their work responsibly and stop sensationalizing the despicable acts of mass murderers. Several studies have indicated that a ‘media contagion effect’ may be increasing the possibility of similar future tragedies. The media covers suicides with much more care due to the sensitive nature of the issue, and they ought to do the same for instances of public mass murderers. This Resolution offers suggestions to that end, and I thank Senator Lee for his leadership in leading this charge in the Senate.”
Dr. Jordan Peterson, echoes this crucial perspective, stating, “We could choose, as a society, to make mass shootings exceedingly rare, as they once were. However, doing so will require the press—and anyone else who has the attention of a wide swath of the public —to withhold from the mass shooters what they all desperately and murderously desire: fame. “
As a practicing clinical and research psychologist—and as someone who has studied the darkest recesses of the human psyche for forty years—I can state with near certainty that wannabe mass shooters would cease wreaking havoc on the innocent and society at large if we stopped rewarding them with the notoriety they will sacrifice anything to attain.
“The approach outlined in the resolutions introduced by Senator Lee and Representative Ogles would, if followed, make mass shootings a thing of the past.”
Aidan Johnston, Federal Affairs Director for Gun Owners of America said, “The media loves to sensationalize mass murders because, by and large, it helps them drive home their preferred narrative: guns and gun owners are to blame for the very violence they are covering. Often times, they pathetically fail to even try and hide their biased viewpoint on the matter. Research confirms that this irresponsible practice plays a role in motivating other individuals to commit mass violence. This documented ‘media contagion effect’ is real, and encouraging the media to voluntarily adopt more stringent ethical practices industry-wide can play a significant role in reducing these copycat attacks on society at-large. We thank Senator Lee and Rep. Ogles for leading the charge on this resolution.”