An open letter to members of the press from a member of the press, following the tragedy in Vegas

My heart is with Vegas, but my head is outraged at the media.

The same people who preach about how we need to implement better preventative measures to stop mass shootings or domestic acts of terrorism before they happen, are the same people broadcasting video footage of said tragedies.

There are so many ways to tell a story without having to sensationalize it and desensitize your auidence. Not one person needs to see a video of people being gunned down or hear bullets chiming like a clocktower at a concert to know that an act of violence has occured. Since when did this become acceptable?

WORDS MEAN THINGS: USE THEM.

You can’t fight fire with fire and that same message applies here. You can’t fight violence by broadcasting acts of violence. Not only is it triggering to those who have experienced a similiar tragedy, but it has proven to lead to copycat crimes committed by people who feel they have nothing to live for, and media coverage would give them the “spotlight” they feel they need. Which isn’t true. Every life is a gift. Every. Single. One.

So if you or someone you know needs someone to talk to, here’s a short list of hotlines you can call TOLL FREE 24/7:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 1-800-662-4357
National Hopeline Network: 1-800-784-2433
National Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-800-448-4663
Samaritans Crisis Response Hotline: (212) 673-3000

Feel free to share this as someone you know may need the information and support to call.

I’m a 2017 graduate of SUNY New Paltz, where I studied digital media journalism and communications with a concentration in public relations. I consider myself to be more than a journalist or photographer, but a story-teller. My work has been published on a variety of media platforms, from The Daily Dot to The Norman Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies.

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