Canada’s Sun News Network Partially Blames Mass Murders in US on Media Coverage

June 19 2014
by GSL Staff
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Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 4.57.59 PMSun News of Canada published a great editorial following the killing of 3 RCMP officers and the wounding of two others by a man armed with a rifle. The incident sparked a multi-day manhunt and saw residents barricaded inside their homes in the area where the shootings took place.

In the editorial following the incident, Sun News announced that they would not be publishing the suspect’s name or photo. Several other media outlets have also recently adopted this policy ( will also adhere to this policy going forward).

They also pointed out a very interesting statistic that we regularly point out ourselves here,

When it comes to mass murderers, too often, it is attention and infamy they crave. Luckily, shootings of this nature are rare in Canada.

And in the US, they account for less than one per cent of all gun-related deaths. Far more people have been killed in the bad neighbourhoods of Chicago than were killed in all the mass shootings combined. But these rare incidents are never forgotten. And with the rise of social media, they’ve become a spectacle.

The editorial then goes on to lay some of the blame for recent high profile shooting incidents at the feet of the media,

Can you see the pattern? The idea is that mass shootings are contagious. Back in 1999, four public health researchers published a famous study titled “Media and Mass Homicides” in the Archives of Suicide Research.

They looked at a number of mass murders in Australia, New Zealand, and Britain and they discovered mass homicides occurred in clusters – not randomly.

Now, with wall-to-wall media coverage of these events, are we feeding future monsters? Are we putting ideas in their heads? When we make the killer’s name and face famous, are we setting the stage for future mass killings?

In the media, it’s a dilemma. We feel an obligation to tell the public what is going on. Our job is to inform. And like the old saying goes, “if it bleeds, it leads.”

Networks care about ratings. But with every mass shooting, we face the inevitable cry of ANOTHER mass shooting?!?

Great job by a media outlet of not immediately jumping on the gun control bandwagon and actually looking at some of the real issues behind these incidents and actually putting forth a suggestion all of in the media can follow to help prevent these incidents in the future.

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