In your article, you point to recent studies that suggest news coverage of mass shootings leads to more mass shootings, much like how news reporting on suicide can lead to more suicides. Recent research has begun to document that additional mass shootings, including those in schools, can be spread by media coverage of the initial shooting. What advice would you give to the media about reporting on mass shootings? My advice to media outlets would be to approach the coverage of mass shootings with the same degree of caution and discretion that they have approached the coverage of suicide for a long time. It is generally well-known among professional journalists who have taken courses in media ethics that sensationalist portrayals of suicide are a bad thing and increase suicide rates. While the media obviously needs to cover these tragedies, are there any practical steps you’d recommend that the media do to minimize the potential for contagion? The World Health Organization has developed an evidence-based set of recommendations for media portrayals of suicide. Is it realistic, in your view, to expect the media to downplay mass shootings? The media would likely argue that they’re doing their job of reporting the news, and giving the public the information it needs and wants. It is obviously in the interests of the media to allure viewers. At the end of the day, that’s how most media sources earn money, by selling advertisements, and you can only do that when you have a large number of viewers.
But that then makes me a hypocrite doesn’t it? Having argued for the supremacy of sovereignty and democracy, leaving a number of key policy areas inside the current system of controls is antithetical to much of what I have written. But then I am not a purist. More to the point, there are a lot of issues where Brexit doesn’t actually solve anything. It won’t make Stoke-on-Trent great again, it won’t bring back the mines, it won’t stand in the way of automation and in many cases, especially if the Tories get their way, it will exacerbate a number of known problems. The essential problem for the UK is that its politics is so wildly out of touch and tribal. Essentially the have been seismic changes over the last forty years and governance has become more complicated than any one person can fully understand. For a lot of the problems we are fighting against the tide and struggling for solutions and in some cases there simply aren’t any solutions.
I do not see a satisfying resolution to the trade versus sovereignty dilemma. What further compounds our problems is a very distinct cultural divide exacerbated by insecure labour and transient populations combined with high immigration. The culture war. Being that the EU adopts any passing progressive fad, using its soft power to impose its values, much of the hostility toward the EU is actually nothing at all to do with economics. Brexit is as much an attempt to reclaim British values (whatever they may be) and ensure UK legislation is made according to those values rather than the progressive values and Keynesian ideas of globalists. While we are on heightened alert for a no deal Brexit and a serious economic collapse, it rather looks to me like we are on course of a political collapse come what may. Though there is now more of a discernible difference between Labour and the Tories than there has been in recent years, there is still a gaping gulf between Westminster and the rest of the country.
Britain certainly didn’t vote to leave the EU as an endorsement of hardcore libertarian free trade ideals any more than they especially wanted to bring about a new socialist order. For the moment I am politically homeless but I think I am in good company. I think I am in the ranks of the sane majority in my dismay and contempt for Westminster. There is certainly a demand for an alternative even if there is no supply. I think it will take a political collapse for that alternative to make itself apparent. What we are looking at here is a democratic correction as the institutions and politics of yore gasp their last. The EU certainly does safeguard the status quo but there is an instinct afoot, globally, that the status quo is ill-suited to whatever the new era is going to look like. In respect of that I think perhaps turmoil is the new status quo until there is a satisfactory one nation resolution.