Letter to the Editor

Seeking recognition

Arroyo GrandeJuly 8, 2014 

There is, in all humans, a strong desire to be recognized.

To acquire this recognition, a person will pursue almost any activity, from acting up in a classroom to wanton violence, which can and has created newsworthy activities.

It is here that the news media plays a most perplexing and deadly role. The Boston Marathon, Columbine and other such tragedies were described endlessly by the news media, which presented strong examples for individuals or small groups seeking ways to achieve recognition. The chief problem is that the news media feels that repetition of an ongoing tragic situation is necessary; this is their modus operandi: “If it bleeds, it leads.”

If it can be shown that there is a connection between the repeated news presentations and an individual’s desire to use violence to achieve recognition , there should be a change in the presentations of such events.

Finally, there must be a comment made regarding the latest tragic news: There were some 31 fatal school shootings in 2014. Seeking recognition can’t be ruled out as a reason here; indeed, it may prove a strong possibility.

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