More - Is - Less Ethical News Practices

Practices to reduce copycat crimes and acts of aggression

The influence of the media has always been a big part of human culture from informing to telling you what to do. The media initially only affected the local areas using television, newspapers, and magazines, but now media affects anywhere there is an internet connection.

 

The unfortunate side effect is that news reports, not intending to, give attention to criminals and groups that use criminal activities to present ideas by printing their names and in-turn the criminal or group and or motive is now documented on the internet, forever and have made their mark in history. This will also give the criminal and or group their “15 minutes of fame” and inspire others to perform similar criminal activities to be famous, heard, acknowledged, or even just remembered/documented in history.

I am proposing that any and all news reports about crimes follow the More Is Less Ethical News Practices listed below. These practices will prevent giving criminal, criminal groups, or crimes to expose religious beliefs, public attention and in-turn reduce the amount of “copycat” crimes like school shootings.

 

The more these practices are followed the less inspired crimes will be.

Vistors

  • Do not show, print, the criminal or criminal’s or group name. Use general terms such as person, group, or create creative nick names.
     

  • Do not show the criminal or criminal’s face(s) in pictures for the article. Blurring the face would be a good suggestion if the image(s) are required. Similar to blurring license plate numbers.
     

  • Be general when writing the motive or reason of the crime. For example if the reason was religious, do not write name of the religion, only say it was motivated a religious views. If the reason was to acknowledge a group such as ISIS, ms13, or even a political party, write that the motive was to support a group.
     

  • Try to make the story more about the victims and or any heroes who deserve to be noticed.

Practices

Recent examples:

  • Here is another example of an article that should have been altered so that the gang and or gang leader is not acknowledged. The individuals name and gang should have been omitted or generalized. (Practice 1).
    The article should be written as: ( the changes are in bold and the omitting is _ )

    "ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A _ gang leader in Maryland has pleaded guilty to a number of charges that could land him life in prison.

    The Capital Gazette reports the 25-year-old gang leader pleaded guilty Friday to a conspiracy to participate in a gang; attempted murder in aid of racketeering; and using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence.

    U.S. Attorney Robert Hur said in a prepared statement that the arrest and conviction have dealt a "significant blow" to the gang in the state. Prosecutors described him as the founder and leader of the gang's "program" in Maryland.

    The newspaper reports he remains in jail and is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 7.

    The gang is believed by federal prosecutors to have thousands of members nationwide, primarily immigrants from Central America."

    Citation, "MS-13 leader in Maryland faces life in prison after plea. (2018, September 08). Retrieved September 10, 2018, from https://www.fredericknewspost.com/public/ap/ms--leader-in-maryland-faces-life-in-prison-after/article_c6fb465f-2dd3-5468-b47f-747a700df7bd.html"

Peter A Morris (August 2, 2018)