Alright alright, here we go folks. I have about a half hour before my next class starts, so let’s see if I can squeeze this whole article post out fast.
Today’s circulation of the Daily Titan features a story written by yours truly regarding the Parkland shooting on Feb. 14. It was undoubtedly a tragedy, but as far as what my stances are on the solutions to the problem itself, I’m not sure I want to go too deeply into things here and now.
What I will go into is the tangential topic of specifically what I covered. Following the shooting, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin made comments on a morning radio show about how violence in media like video games, movies and songs are one of, if not the chief causes of events like mass shootings.
Don’t know if ‘events’ is too weak of a word to use there, but it’s the best I’ve got for right now.
The reason I latched onto this story in particular is because it lined up quite well with the requirement to write a news story based on our entertainment beats in Comm 436. I actually brought that topic up in my last beat report, and this was the final result.
As per the class requirements for the story, it had to be based on our specific beat (in my case, video games), 750 words minimum and have at least one live source.
I first tried reaching out to a psychology professor to hopefully discuss the way violent media effects the development of younger children. They did not feel they were an expert on the subject and asked not to talk, but from her feedback I was able to access and comb through an American Psychological Association report that detailed a bunch of basic information I used to build the rest of my piece off of.
To do so, I reached out to College of Communications professor Cynthia King, who has done research into the connection between exposure to violent media and aggressive behavior. The interview I had with her wound up being far more in-depth than I had expected (It was about 25 minutes long when I had imagined 5-to-10 or so) and gave me just about everything I needed.
From there I compiled the information from Professor King, the APA report, the recording of the Kentucky radio broadcast and more into one big examination of the fact that media does play a part in fostering aggressive behavior, but it’s far more of a rich tapestry of developments that ultimately lead to tragedies like we saw in Parkland.
I honestly really like the way this piece turned out, and our illustrator Anita made a great graphic timeline showing the largest mass shootings in modern American history based on a compilation by CNN. Plus, for the online version at least, I was able to link out to all of the documents and everything I used, so it’s nice and robust in my opinion.
You can check out the article I wrote in its entirety here. You can also see my full body of work for the Daily Titan over on the right!