Mosques are busiest on Fridays when Muslims gather for Friday prayer.

New Zealand’s Linwood mosque and Al Noor mosque were devastated when eight people died at Linwood and another 42 at Al Noor - resulting in a 50-person mass shooting.

The fear is strong worldwide, but some coverages are focusing on the wrong coverage angle - take Daily Mirror for example.

On Saturday, Daily Mirror took to twitter with a photo of its front page paper with the headline “Angelic boy who grew into an evil far-right mass killer.”

Angelic and evil - two antonyms that don’t belong in the same headline.

It has to be unpalatable for families of the dead to see a newspaper lead with how “angelic” a mass killer was as a child.

This isn’t the first time mass shooters have received more media attention than the lives they destroyed.

The first that comes to mind are the Columbine shooters. These two people have, in the 20 years that have passed, gained a cult following, known as “columbiners.”

Then there’s the Aurora, Colorado, shooting of 2012. I will not name him out of respect for the families who lost love ones, but the massive media frenzy surrounding him became enormous.

We watched his trials, kept up to date on him, and now he has his own Wikipedia page.

Let’s not forget the photo of the Boston bomber front and center on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

The mayor of Boston said Rolling Stone’s decision was rewarding a terrorist with “celebrity treatment.”

The sub-head to the front cover read “How a popular, promising student was failed by his family …” blah, blah, blah. We don’t need to hear anymore.

Instead of focusing on victims, we’re left reading how a “popular” and “promising” student turned into a monster. He doesn’t deserve the attention.

Even the Parkland shooter is more of a household name than the victims.

Do you see the problem with this?

Back in 2012 following the Colorado shooting, the parents of Alex Teves, one of the victims, created the No Notoriety campaign.

The goal is to challenge us, the media, to limit a perpetrator’s name and image to constrained circumstances such as sharing a name and image if the identity is known and the criminal hasn’t been apprehended or if the criminal’s caught or dies in the attack.

There’s also the “Don’t Name Them” campaign forwarded by the FBI.

The goal stays the same place emphasis back on victims, survivors, communities and first responders. It wouldn’t hurt the dissemination of useful information.

Restraining the spotlight put on killers through the media can play a small but crucial role in reducing the likelihood of repeated mass shootings.

Without the 15 minutes of fame, the likelihood of a copycat killer is slim to none. Let’s make it our job to keep it that way.

BECKY FLETCHER is a Editor in Chief for The Vidette. Contact her at Followe on Twitter at @becky__fletcher 

IF YOU SUPPORT THE VIDETTE MISSION of providing a training laboratory for Illinois State University student journalists to learn and sharpen viable, valuable and marketable skills in all phases of print and digital media, please consider contributing to this most important cause. Thank you.

(0) entries

Sign the guestbook.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.