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NCJ Number: 186371 Find in a Library
Title: Body-Count Journalism: The Presentation of Mass Murder in the News Media
Journal: Homicide Studies  Volume:4  Issue:4  Dated:November 2000  Pages:364-399
Author(s): Grant Duwe
Editor(s): M. Dwayne Smith
Date Published: November 2000
Page Count: 36
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study analyzes coverage by newspapers, network television news, and newsworthy magazines of mass killings that occurred between 1976 and 1996. The study indicates that although virtually all of the mass murders were locally newsworthy, only a small minority were nationally.
Abstract: The study reports that widely publicized mass killings were more likely to involve large numbers of fatal and wounded victims, stranger victims, public locations, assault weapons, workplace violence, interracial victim-offender relationships, and, to a lesser extent, older offenders and gun use. Given that the high profile incidents were the most extreme and atypical mass murders, it was argued that the overemphasis placed on these massacres was part and parcel of the news media’s attempt to maximize the size of their audience and therefore their profits by catering to the public’s fascination with rare and sensational acts of violence. The study concludes by discussing the significant implications on the social construction of mass murder when an overemphasis is placed on the rarest and most sensational mass killings. Notes and references
Main Term(s): Media coverage
Index Term(s): Gun Control; Homicide; Mass murders; Weapons violations
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