Mass Communication Theory Foundations, Ferment, and Future

NORMATIVE THEORIES OF MASS COMMUNICATION (Introduction) At around half past nine on the morning of April 16, 2007, a deranged young man gunned down two students in a dormitory at Virginia Tech University. He would later that day use his automatic weapons to kill thirty more people on that idyllic campus. Between the two attacks, however, the shooter took the time to mail a package to NBC News. Arriving at the broadcast network’s New York headquarters at eleven in the morning two days later, the parcel included a twentyfive- minute self-made videotape and forty-three photographs. Accompanying these visuals, all featuring the angry, gun- and knife-wielding murderer, was a twentythree- page manifesto. The network debated what to do with this material. By six o’clock that night, the regularly scheduled start of its evening national news program, NBC’s news professionals had made their decision. That night’s coverage of the rampage included two […]

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