Researcher suggests mass killers incentivized by media

Dan Abrams Live

(NewsNation) — A University of Alabama criminologist who has studied mass killers for more than a decade has become convinced that the media is partially at fault.

According to Professor Adam Lankford’s research, “winning a Super Bowl or Academy Award garnered less media attention than committing a high-profile mass killing,” and that there is “a strong correlation between the number of victims harmed in these attacks and the amount of media attention that perpetrators receive.”

In a 2019 study, Lankford found that at least 16 mass shooters have claimed notoriety as a motive since Columbine.

“The best thing would be if major media companies came out and said, ‘We’re no longer going to publish the names or faces of mass shooters.’ Then, the next time a mass shooting happens, which it will, they stuck to that. Right? That would send a powerful message, and the mass shooters, I think, would start to learn that they can’t be rewarded in the way they were in the past,” Lankford said in an interview with Reason.

With the study in mind, News Nation’s Dan Abrams questions if the media is partly to blame for mass shootings. In the video above, Jaclyn Schildkraut, associate professor of criminal justice at State University of New York at Oswego, weighs in on the topic she has also closely studied.

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