Schulman recommends that the press consider guidelines originally promulgated in 2001 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the surgeon general. These include never reporting the names of mass shooters, never speculating on their motives (and certainly never reproducing their manifestos), and never broadcasting images of the crime. The “breaking news” wall-to-wall coverage of these grisly atrocities gives the twisted perpetrators exactly what they seek.
The morbid focus on JFK’s assassination — particularly those programs that stress the “two stories” angle — send exactly the wrong signals to unstable minds. The rifle, the close-ups, the music, the drama. It all screams, “This is the way, if not to glory, at least to notice.”