On Jan. 6, the SPJ Florida Pro board passed a vote, 11-2, to support No Notoriety.
The group, founded by Tom and Caren Teves, aims to reduce the mention of shooters in mass murders. The Teveses lost their son, Alex, in 2012 in the Aurora, Colo. theater shooting.
“No Notoriety actually challenges the media on many of the same points SPJ challenges its journalists in the Code of Ethics,” said chapter president Dori Zinn. “One of our core principles is to ‘minimize harm.’ It’s been proven that mass shootings happen out of inspiration from other mass shootings and that comes straight from the media. We contribute to that and we shouldn’t.”
Many journalists have already taken the pledge from No Notoriety, including CNN’s Anderson Cooper and FOX’s Megyn Kelly.
“Journalists love to criticize — it’s part of us. But we have a hard time dealing with people that criticize us.” Zinn said. “But we’re talking about doing the work we’ve already said we’re going to do in honoring the Code of Ethics.”
One misconception the group continues to fight against is that many journalists believe No Notoriety means never mentioning the shooter, but Tom Teves says it’s not that at all. Journalists should report who did this, but shooters shouldn’t be “plastered” all over TVs and homepages.
“I hope this support of No Notoriety encourages more journalism groups to support responsible journalism practices,” Zinn said. “We should always aim to be better journalists and naturally, better humans.”
Do you think journalists should take an active stance against repeatedly naming and featuring images of shooters in mass murders? Watch the video above, visit the mission of No Notoriety, and let us know what you think.