Charleston Shooting: 2009 Charlie Brooker Video Explains How Media Should Report Mass Murder

A YouTube video from Charlie Brooker on his BBC program Newswipe that dates back in 2009 has gone viral after the Charleston shooting inside a church in South Carolina.

A Reddit thread started by hakb404, which stated, “Every time there’s a mass murder, this Charlie Brooker video needs to be reposted,” led people to the clip because of just how prescient it is in the wake of the events in South Carolina.

You can watch Charlie Brooker’s thoughts on the media’s reaction to these tragedies, and how their response actually exacerbates further problems, below.

The above segment was recorded in response to the Winnenden school shooting in Germany on March 11, 2009.

However, it also perfectly explains why the blanket coverage of subsequent mass murder shootings in both the United States and across the world is only leading to more tragedies of the same ilk.

In the footage, Charlie Brooker criticises the 24-hour news cycle for its reporting of the incident, which helped turn the culprit into a pin-up boy for other wannabe mass murderers.

But it was Dr. Park Dietz, a forensic psychiatrist who has worked in numerous high profile U.S. criminal cases, who perfectly surmised why the media’s coverage needs to alter.


“We’ve had 20 years of mass murderers. Throughout which I have repeatedly told CNN and our other media, ‘If you don’t want to propagate more mass murders don’t start the story with sirens blaring. Don’t have photographs of the killer. Don’t make this 24/7 coverage.

“Do everything you can not to make the body count the lead story, not to make the killer some kind of anti-hero. Do localise this story to the affected community and make it as boring as possible in every other market.’ Because every time we have intense saturation coverage of a mass murder we expect to see one or two more.”

The Charleston church massacre is simply the latest tragedy to unfold on U.S. soil that’s resulted in the deaths of innocent people at the hands of a gunman, and it means that Dietz’s remarks are more appropriate than ever.

President Barack Obama has already made it painfully clear, once again, that something needs to be done in order to combat these murders, as he stated, via Business Insider, “I’ve had to make statements like this too many times. At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other developed countries.”

[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]