How the media shouldn't cover a mass murder

A look at the "Batman killer" front pages.

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Every time there's a mass shooting, I remember this piece of footage from Charlie Brooker's BBC series Newswipe. In it, a forensic psychiatrist outlines the guidelines for news reporting of such a tragedy, assuming that your aim is to prevent further ones.

 

He says:

If you don't want to propagate more mass murders...

Don't start the story with sirens blaring.

Don't have photographs of the killer.

Don't make this 24/7 coverage.

Do everything you can not to make the body count the lead story.

Not to make the killer some kind of anti-hero.

Do localise this story to the affected community and as boring as possible in every other market. 

Here are this morning's front pages. Judge for yourself who has done a good job of heeding that advice, and who hasn't.

 

 

 

 

 

Images courtesy of @hendopolis

The Sun goes with a big picture of the man arrested over the killing.

Helen Lewis is associate editor of the New Statesman. She regularly appears on BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and the News Quiz, and is writing a history of feminism for Jonathan Cape