Contemplating the events of the last few weeks, it becomes difficult to assess how accustomed American children are becoming to random acts of violence being spread across our media. I remember sitting in my second grade classroom and having our teachers explain to us how 9/11 was just an isolated event and how these tragedies shouldn’t scare us in an attempt to calm us before the assault of news we were bound to get at home. But in an age where mass shootings dominate the news almost once a week how are parents supposed to dispel fears among their children if we can no longer classify these mass killings as isolated events. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents are encouraged to limit the media exposure of their children in times of crisis due to the potential to the lasting affects fear based media can have on children.
However in the age of social media where every new emergency has its own hashtag, how can we expect to make children feel safe when they are being constantly bombarded from fear by the media, not just due to the framing just the sheer frequency of crisis based news? It seems that the answer to this question just opens up more questions. With a news culture of “if it bleeds it leads” how do we expect the media to balance their own desire for increased viewers without inundating the minds of our children with constant fear. On the other hand it is the media’s duty to keep interested adults up to date on current crisis information. It seems like the only way to stop this is to target the root problem of stopping gun violence at it source which is a debate going nowhere in congress. Something must be done not only for the past and future victims of these crimes but for the child viewers that the media seems to be overlooking when blanket covering the news with these constant tragedies.
I have acted with honesty and integrity in producing this work and am unaware of anyone who has not.