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Media & Violence

...new limit to what television newscasts will broadcast...

O

n April 16, 2007 I clicked on a Toronto newspaper's web site and learnt about the shootings in Virginia earlier that day. Two days later when I clicked on the same site, I saw a photo, the size of a paperback, of a man pointing a gun at me. A second newspaper had the same image. I wasn't pleased.

The saying goes: don't point a gun at someone unless you intend to shot. I don't intend to get shot and I don't like the idea of a gun pointed at me even if it is a photograph.

How many movies have you seen where an actor points a gun directly, in close-up, at the audience? Rarely. There is a famous early sound film where that stunt took place, but it failed miserable as people keeled over from freight.

Why did The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail think the photos were appropriate? Money.

Today I read in the G&M that TV news broadcasts were playing video of this killer over and over. A backlash started. Good. (See G&M article.) But where's the backlash at the newspapers? I'm doing my part.

I suppose there is one thing for which I'm thankful, I rarely watch TV so I didn't have to endure video of this killer.

Posted 2007/04/20 at 06h57ET in Current Events.

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