Fox: Media Should Focus On Terror Recovery, Not “Gratuitous” Victim Images


Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox, writing in USA Today, sympathizes with Boston Marathon bombing survivor Adrianne Haslet-Davis, who refused to appear on NBC’s “Meet the Press” when the program said the names of the alleged bombers might be mentioned during the broadcast. Fox contends that “patently gratuitous are the countless photographs and videos of the two explosions and their immediate aftermath, highlighting mutilated limbs and terror-filled faces of stunned spectators” one year ago today.

Fox argues that television interviews asking Marathon viewers how they felt last April 15 “emphasize the wrong story, that of injury rather than recovery.” It’s much easier for media covering terrorism to show images like the collapse of the World Trade Center or students fleeing the rampage shooting at Colorado’s Columbine High School, Fox says, rather than “complex tales of recovery and resilience [that] are more difficult to tell, particularly when audiences are easily distracted and drawn to negative news.”

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