School Shootings in Media Coverage: Why Media Play an Important Role in the Genesis of School Shootings

By Melanie Verhovnik.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Communication

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: September 16, 2015 $US5.00

School shootings are events which are widely reported in the media. However, the focus on “simple explanations” tends to create a false image and supports the mystification of the perpetrators themselves. These individuals plan for their respective "appearances" in the media when making their preparations and they are well aware of the effect. This study takes an interdisciplinary approach, and presents the phenomenon of school shootings in conjunction with a content analysis of print and television media, providing reliable data and, for the first time, helping to shape a picture of how German coverage of school shootings has been undertaken. The outcome, concerning the question of what journalism does or could afford to do, provides a number of clear indications regarding what meaningful reporting can look like.

Keywords: Content Analysis, Media Coverage, Perpetrators, School Shootings, School Violence, Violent Fantasies

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Communication, Volume 10, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.31-46. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: September 16, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 423.390KB)).

Dr. Melanie Verhovnik

Research Fellow, Institute for Journalism, Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Eichstätt, Bavaria, Germany