NPR Issues Guidance On All The Things They WON’T Report About The ChristChurch Massacre!

For a news organization, NPR sure does seem awfully focused on what they WON’T report about a major story, the NZ massacre.

Anyone else old enough to remember when the basics of journalism included gathering and presenting the “Who” “What” “Where” “When” and “Why” of the event? Those days are gone, replaced by progress and safety.

Guidance: On Names, The ‘Manifesto’ And Other New Zealand Mass Shooting Details

Facts you don’t need include…Names:

-NAMES I. When it’s known for sure, the name of the shooter does NOT have to be endlessly repeated. Biographical details are important, but repeating the name over and over runs the risk of glorifying the shooter in some eyes. As we’ve said before, in many cases the news can be told without even saying the name (or names if others were involved).

Video:

-VIDEO: We do not plan to post the video the shooter reportedly made. Use of any audio from it must be approved by a DME. 

You don’t need to see the manifesto:

-MANIFESTO. We will be sparing on reporting about what’s being referred to as the gunman’s “manifesto” and do not plan to publish it in its entirety if it becomes available. There is considerable research indicating that such statements inspire others. The DME on duty must OK how we handle news from it. 

Social media:

-SOCIAL MEDIA I. Do not retweet or otherwise point to other media outlet’s posting of the video or manifesto if they do that. 

-SOCIAL MEDIA II. Let our engagement teams post first about our coverage and it’s certainly fine to then point to what they are sharing. 

-SOCIAL MEDIA III: Be careful of other news outlets’ coverage. If you wouldn’t point to it on the air or in a Web story, don’t share it on social media.

Good luck ever getting to the “Why” if you’re not allowed to know the unsafe facts of events?

It’s hard to know what’s scarier, living in a world with lunatics like the ChristChurch attacker, or living in world that choses to put it’s collective fingers in their collective ears and shout “nah nah nah I can’t hear you”

And it isn’t just NPR. There are a lot of people who think they should be the ones to control what you do and don’t see.

Ben is auditioning for the roll of all three monkeys in the image above.