Caren Teves, mother to Aurora, Colo., theater shooting victim Alex, has sent an open letter to the heads of ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and Fox News, calling on them to have their respective outlets refrain from using the names of mass shooters.
“We call on your media outlets to treat mass shooters as murderers seeking notoriety, not as celebrities,” reads the letter. “Specifically, we ask you to immediately enact a policy to follow these guidelines when covering mass shootings.”
Teves’s policy recommendations include not naming the shooter, except as initial identification; not publishing photos that “glamorize” the shooter; and not airing “self-serving statements” the shooter may have made prior to the tragedy.
The letter asks readers to join Teves “in asking the heads of the major news networks to institute guidelines that would deny mass shooters the opportunity to achieve a perverse celebrity status and would keep their names and faces out of the news.”
The Aurora shooting took place at a movie theater in summer 2012. The trial for James Holmes, the admitted shooter, is scheduled for February 2014.