Mass Killings: The Role of the Media

Mass killings, particularly in the United States, have a long history, but the murderous rampage carried-out by two senior students at Columbine High School in April 1999 was different.

Not only was it, at the time, the most lethal school shooting in American history it also, in the words ofProfessor Ralph Larkin, “wrote  the script” for many of the subsequent mass killings in 21st century America and beyond.

Columbine is also a seminal moment in our understanding of what motivates one of the largest categories of mass killer – the fame-seeking narcissist for whom the end-game to their murderous rampage is the fame and notoriety they ardently desire but which, until in the words of one notorious killer “they spill a little blood”, they believe they are denied.

This short film, the second in a series that began by examining some of the myths surrounding mass killers, features interview footage with Professor Craig Jackson, a leading academic authority on mass killings and highlights ways the desire for fame and notoriety that has motivated an increasing number of mass killers over the past 25 years can be turned against potential killers: by denying them the media exposure their behaviours are explicitly designed to attract.

Mass Killings: The Role of the Media is now available to Buy or for 7-day Rental.

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