“Mass Media” & School Shootings Research Paper Samples

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Education, Students, School, Media, Study, Violence, Events, Public

Pages: 9

Words: 2475

Published: 2021/01/18


“School shootings” generally evoke strong public reaction and outcry. The incidents of “school shootings” that took place between 1997 and 2001 showed that the USA is at the collapse of ethical values as a result of delinquency in the society. Indeed, the incident, “Columbine has become a keyword for a complex set of emotions surrounding youth, risk, fear, and delinquency in 21st Century America” (Muschert, 2007). The theorist Stein (2000) labeled “Columbine” a representation for the “crisis of youth” society.
Thus, considering the rising publicity and public sentiments regarding “school shootings,” the researchers have been figuring out the different aspects of these events. In spite of the highly diffused identification and apprehensions regarding the “school shootings” in schools, the study shows that learning institutes are considered as the most-protected sites for the children in contrast to their dwellings and the vicinities. Besides, the advanced stage of focus to the occurrence of “school shootings,” and other kinds of brutality is rather misleading. Accordingly, the existing data regarding violence in schools all over the 2004-05 pointed that non-fatal events were quite frequent, that included violent incidents of about 30 thefts and 20 brutal offenses, consisting of 4 grave offenses/1000 students. On the other hand, casualties in schools are exceptionally uncommon: just about 1 in two million school-age youth would be killed or resort to suicide at the school annually. Below 3% of killing of school going adolescence take place, and although the public apprehension regarding “school shootings” rose, the occurrence of brutal casualties in schools afterward dropped (Dinkes et al., 2006).
Nevertheless, while it is related to “school shootings,” it is difficult to see how the public viewpoint and sociological data critically differ. Anyhow, it appears that views regarding “school shootings” are a case of the so-called “Rashomon effect,” that denotes the personal concept of reality wherein the viewers of a solitary incident interpret contrary, though rational accounts of what took place. The concept was coined by Heider (1988).
Besides, the observers may decide to build their personal account by incorporating the different versions (Kurosawa, 1969). Similarly, “Rashomon effect” takes place when there are the cases of “school shootings” in which those interpret such events attend to differing arguments about what takes place. Indeed, there exists an influential “mass media,” about which the character of “school shootings” narrated in the “mass media” is typically dissimilar to those stated in the studies. However, at the conclusion of the century, the events of “school shootings” attains rising communal problems, usually because the incidents acquired public motivation, which led to the observation that “school shootings” were a novel type of violent behavior taking place with greater occurrence and concentration.
In fact, there is an additional “Rashomon effect” that occurs from various cases studied (Heider, 1988) and the different academic standpoints from where “school shootings” are analyzed (Roth & Mehta, 2002). Rather than assisting to a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary outlook on “school shootings” as a community issue, such a difference amongst researchers implies insignificant research has surfaced.

The “Mass media” contribute significantly to the community outlook of “school shootings” and acts as a societal predicament. The researchers have analyzed the “mass media” vision of “school shooting” events. However, the perception of the “mass media” concerning community problems complicates a deep understanding of societal issues and active creation of solutions.
Often, the “news media” is entangled between the requirements to gain focus for a profit-motivated business and the need to sustain the moral criteria of their career. Sometimes, the “media” stressed the remarkable aspects of “school shootings,” thus harming a somber, long-term assessment of a “school shooting” incidents altogether.
However, the “media dynamics” of “Rashomon effect” regarding the “school shootings” happens as a result of the detail that the majority of citizens face “school shootings” as a “mass media” incident. Whilst, the issue of “school shootings,” took place all over the USA, it was the forceful “media” reporting of the famous events that generated the people opinion of “school shootings” as an evolving and growing community issue. Hence, the “school shooting” point as widely documented relating to the “media” reporting of events than concrete modifications in the scale of school violent behavior. In fact, much of this motivation focused on riot-type events.
In order to perceive the increase of “school shooting” issue, it is essential to recognize the wider communal debate affecting the youths and delinquency. David Altheide (2002a) talked about the appearance in the late 20th century of the associated discussions of children and horror that climaxed due to school-related violence. The issues showed public apprehension regarding crimes and the uproar due to “school shootings”. Muschert & Carr (2006) followed the emergent phenomenon of the “school shooting” as a topic of nationwide importance and noted that “school shootings” were first identified as a communal issue in 1997. Before that period, the violent events were mostly typified as local in their importance and effects. Besides, the study showed that the publicly built shooting issue climaxed in 1999, closely resembling “1999 Columbine shootings”.
As well, the climax of community concern in “school shootings” as a public issue the “news media” reporting proved forceful. The analysts wanting to study “media” reporting of “school shootings” should start along with the combined, non-technological research on the “media” contents of school violent behavior issued by “the Center for Media and Public Affairs (1999).” The organization analyzed the “mass media” about the depiction of the firearms, people, rationales and recommended concrete explanations for the “school shootings”. Besides, accordingly Bonilla (2000) created an “edited work,” that included critiques from the “news media” and periodicals, while the spectators can study the news discussion directly.
In 2001, the “school shooting” subject started its drop as a public issue, and such events were influentially typified as pertinent to the society where they took place (Muschert & Carr, 2006). Despite the fact, the “school shootings” are nevertheless remarkable and gain “mass media” focus, they are rather less forcefully debated and the period of debate is short. When contrasted with the four year period ending 2001 wherein the “mass media” depicted “school shootings” as a community predicament of nationwide issue, the “school shooting” incidents no more drew the high attention of the “mass media”. After the 2007 events at “Virginia Tech,” there were a possibility that the USA would see revival in the “mass media” spotlight on the matters relating to school crimes and security.
However, the analysts from various fields of life have studied features of the “mass media” dynamics of the occurrence of “school shootings”. For instance, Maguire et al. (2002) studied the comparative points of “mass media” focus gained by different firing events. A couple of studies namely by (Haider-Markel & Joslyn, 2001; Lawrence & Birkland, 2004), noted that the news “media” have a tendency to depict “school shootings” as an issue occurring from poor gun control laws. On the other hand, Samuels (2000) claimed the activities of “Columbine shooters” were shown by the current “mass media”. As well, Lawrence and Birkland (2004) noted that the political discussion recognized “mass media” as the means for the “shooting incidents,” though Scharrer et al. (2003) showed that the “mass media” has a tendency to clear off from the liability for “school shooting” events. On account of its standing as the “best-known” and forcefully argued “school shooting” event to take place, “Columbine” has been the topic of several “media” studies. Besides, couple of research (Chyi & McCombs, 2004; Muschert forthcoming) considered the outlining of “Columbine” as an incident of nationwide significance, as Lawrence (2001) claimed “Columbine” was quite influential which explained the predicament of “school shootings.” Muschert (2007) studied the “mass media’s” reporting of the “Columbine” sufferers, and Ogle et al. (2003) analyzed the function of “clothing and style” about the “Columbine” reporting. Smit (2001) studied “Columbine” in the “mass media” as a case of vision as Gunn and Beard (2003) noted that the reporting of incidents for instance “Columbine” was espousing a growing apocalyptic character. Many analysts concentrated on particular community matters in the “media” treatment of “school shootings,” that included ethnic group (Aitken, 2001), manliness (Aitken, 2001; Consalvo, 2003), and creed (Muschert, 2007). In fact, the “mass media” research of other events is conspicuously missing from the writing though Eglin and Hester (2003) and Muschert and Carr (2006) are exceptional. Besides, the remarkable discrepancy is Daniels et al. (2007) that studies the “mass media” reporting of avoided school violence.

The impacts of “school shootings”

A trait of the study which is significantly understated is the results of “school shootings.” As well, in exceptional instances, for example, one research that analyzes the mental consequences of “school shooting” on the learners (Curry, 2003). The research may inspect the effects of these calamities on the society and its associates. Nevertheless, the majority of studies concentrate on the extensive social effects of “school shootings.” The scientists have studied the communal and representative significance of “school shootings,” that is a cause of much public horror (Burns & Crawford 1999). The experimental research of students’ apprehension of ill-treatment in school has generated varied results. Thus, Addington (2003) noted that the terror of abuse stated by the American students in the age group 12–17 did not considerably modify after the 1999 “Columbine” shootings. However, other research showed a bigger fear of ill-treatment amongst learners in the state of Texas (Snell et al., 2002) and amongst female learners (Stretesky & Hogan, 2001). Besides, a research of terror in hundreds of schools showed that the students frequently believed that the schools were more protected than the average one.
In addition, the extremely hyped “school shooting” events affected the “school crime policy” options, while the options commonly predisposed towards penalizing procedures. Often, school pacifist rules were created when the school administrators entertained requests from parents. In addition, these claims may be understood as an indication of community issue regarding “school shootings” created by powerful “media” reporting. On the whole, the US Government takes a penalizing response against the young criminals, although the US might take advantage of seeing more inspirational policies in the Europe. According to Webber (2003b) the disciplinary method espoused in the US to fight school violence is similar to the military model of repression traditionally utilized to fight against Russian Communism. Hence, the youths are dealt as a “foreign enemy” inside the US borders. Sometimes, it seems that the students in the country are growingly exposed to scrutiny programs established for the sake of safety measures, however, that may improve the sense that the American schools are more comparable to remedial centers, instead of supporting organizations related to youth development (Dimitriadis & McCarthy, 2003). Thus, in order to eliminate the publicity affecting the hasty responses to violence in the various schools of the country, Brooks et al. (2000) suggested the following policy suggestions namely that add more perspective to “mass media” reporting, supporting the utilization of disciplinary and contemplative procedures in the schools to preserve security, and better control of the gun manufacturing.
Other explanation of “school shootings” and violent behavior is the occurrences are a risk for the community wellbeing and interests. A number of studies focus on the emotional health requirements of the population where the “school shootings” take place (Fast, 2003; Fein, 2003; Martin, 2001). Besides, the study in this practice espouses a practical method that the stress must be on weapon-free schools that could be realized using entry-based arms test (Mawson et al., 2002).
Moreover, various effects arise due to the powerful “mass media” existed in the “school shootings,” and it led to several studies. In another study, Jemphrey and Berrington (2000) showed that the “mass media’s” existence in the society after the catastrophic incidents may worsen the suffering faced by the people. Besides, the results of the study pointed out that a lot of reporters are knee-jerk as regards their professional tasks towards the sufferers where “school shootings” did take place. It is particularly significant where the focus of “media” is the young generation.
A number of analysts have condemned the “mass media” for their rash coverage of “school shooting” incidents. Nevertheless, the reporters have deliberated on their experiences learned by the reporting of “school shootings” (Shepard, 2003; Simpson & Coté, 2006). Obviously, it is emotionally complex for “media” staff to report “school shootings,” particularly as they take place in the population. A researcher studied the direct challenges faced by the reporters when they reported by “Columbine” (Shepard 1999). As well, an interrelated study showed that the “Columbine incident” had long-term distressing effects on the “media” workforce who reported the incident it, particularly those residing in the vicinity (Simpson & Coté, 2006).


The understanding of the incidents of schools shooting by the general public and academics is rather complicated in nature. It is for the reason that “Rashomon effect” resulted from the different basis of the database. In fact, this paper has tried to explain the difference involving the portrayals of “school shootings” incidents that occurs from various sources: Firstly, the researchers depict the “school shootings” as taking place at a rather stable rate in the recent decades. Secondly, the “mass media” description has a tendency to focus on the noticeable wave of “school shootings” taking place throughout the late 20th century era. The supposed wave of “school shooting” events led to the common feeling about the existence of a growing community issue of “school shootings”. Hence, as an issue in the community program, the “school shootings” of late appears to have been replaced by other community issues and seems to be more imperative.
However, there must be a sustained research for the “causes and effects” of “school shootings,” although it seems to be a biased communal issue. Thus, the constant study carried out by scientists regarding “school shootings” would be most probable to help in the efficient and successful public policy respond to such events and stop them from taking place.
In addition, this paper has tried to reduce the “Rashomon effect” in the sociological sphere of analysis for “school shootings,” by offering a detailed analysis of the results in the studies of “sociology”, “psychology”, and “media studies”. In view of the necessity to perceive the “school shootings,” an integrated subgroup is required to promote the debate further. So far, a significant research about “school shootings” has concentrated on a handful of case studies that has a tendency to be the impressive incidents. As the preliminary drive for the present study may have appeared from the public criticism following the incidents, for example, “Columbine,” the researchers should carry on their study in a more pragmatic manner. A long-term and objective method for the analysis of “school shooting” events of different kinds and in diverse environments is essential for the appearance of a complicated, fair perception may eventually bring about more advanced and positive deterrence and successful strategies.


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