UCSB Murders: Victims Overlooked in Sensational News Coverage?

The Los Angeles Times ran a story today that relates how UCSB students say the focus on the Isla Vista killer is detracting from remembering the 6 dead victims. And well these students should raise a hue and cry. The “if it bleeds, it leads” crowd (i.e., TV) typically is more interested in ratings than rational, reasonable news coverage.

At the same, society not only has a right but a need to know about threats to its safety and well-being. In this case the threat ended quickly, although not quickly enough for the victims. But it raises much more serious, ongoing issues, particularly how we as a society deal with emotionally disturbed individuals. That requires balancing individual rights with society’s right to protect itself from malicious individuals bent on causing harm to others.

If no other good comes out of this tragedy, I hope we can achieve a serious, apolitical discussion of this and related issues. (Then again, I still believe in the tooth fairy.)

In addition, we also must deal with the unsavory truth that violent death and violent loss are facts of life, and, human nature being what it is, violence will, more than likely, always be with us. Therefore, it behooves us to deal with the aftermath—the traumatic grief, complicated bereavement, and PTSD that often afflict the victims’ loved ones—in an effective manner and not compound the problem.

Perhaps some news outlets could take the lead in these arenas rather than just chasing sirens.

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About Polishing Your Prose

Larry M Edwards is an award-winning investigative journalist, author, editor and publishing consultant. He is the author of three books, and has edited dozens of nonfiction and fiction book manuscripts. Under Wigeon Publishing, he has produced six books. As author, "Dare I Call It Murder? A Memoir of Violent Loss" won First Place in the San Diego Book Awards in 2012 (unpublished memoir) and 2014, Best Published Memoir. The book has also been nominated for a number of awards, including: Pulitzer Prize, Benjamin Franklin Award, Washington State Book Award, and One Book, One San Diego. As Editor, "Murder Survivor’s Handbook: Real-Life Stories, Tips & Resources" won the Gold Award in the 2015 Benjamin Franklin Book Awards, Self-Help. For a sample edit and cost estimate, contact Larry: larry [at] larryedwards [dot] com -- www.larryedwards.com -- www.dareicallitmurder.com -- www.wigeonpublishing.com
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