Do media vultures perpetuate mass shootings?

Outside Columbine High on the day of the attacks, a photographer standing near me flipped open a phone and cheered, excitement uncontained: “It’s Pulitzer time!” This man knew I could hear him. He just didn’t care. At the time — and in my shock — I registered disgust, but commercial journalism wasn’t yet my life’s loudest bully. Before the month was over, there would be a Japanese reporter camping out in a car outside my house. When someone from our shattered family came or went, he would scramble out of the car, seeking salable dirt on the shooters. They had been students in one of my mom’s classes. My aunt taught English to several of their victims.My aunt called the reporters “carrion birds.” My mom was too stunned to say much of anything about them. It fell to me to field their calls: “Columbine,” this thing that wounded 24 and killed 13 and almost took my mother, was an all-day, wall-to-wall media happening. A pair of journalists from the New York Times even used an enrolled student as a ruse. My mom arrived at a coffee shop to tutor a boy who’d been unable to return to school, and there they were, tagging along. Interrupting education. Seeking any small anecdote on murderers the 24-hour news cycle had already turned forever into figures of anti-heroic intrigue.Continue Reading…


Do media vultures perpetuate mass shootings?

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