Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Not Very Often That Someone Cites This Paper Of Mine

It's still nice.  In the July 23, 2012 The Atlantic:
Anyone remember a fourth-century-BC Greek named Herostratus? He's the guy whose name history has recorded solely on account of his having burned down the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, in 356 BCE -- so that history would record his name.
In a 1993 paper called "Ethical Problems of Mass Murder Coverage in the Mass Media, published in the Journal of Mass Media Ethics, Clayton Cramer explored a variation on the question my colleague Robert Wright is rightly asking now, following Roger Ebert's New York Times op-ed on Friday: Given that intense media coverage of mass killings (a) plays straight into the perpetrators' tendency to want recognition for their crimes, and (b) encourages copycat iterations, can major media outlets police themselves not to play into these dynamics?


  1. If every media outlet replaced the name of the mass murderer with "Herostratus-1X" the news would still get out, and the poisoned desire for fame/notoriety would be highlighted.
    Maybe the media outlets would never agree; highlighting the desire for notoriety would make it harder to make arguments for their hobbyhorse of gun control.

  2. You were also quoted on a PJMedia article I just read today.