The yes-men of Danish broadcasting: TV2 News mindlesslessly tows the global line

by: Tim Anderson (

Sitting in the office where I work, a media bureau, small flat screen TV's line the columns down the center of the office. Most play TV2 News, Denmark's 24 news channel, throughout the day.

Almost constantly, for several hours all this morning, TV2 News focussed on the tragedy in Virginia involving the deranged gunman who ran amok. Not only that, the editors and producers at TV2 News chose to incessantly play the video the gunman sent to NBC, along with various still images of the gunman (waving his guns around).

Why would TV2 News do this? Not only TV2 News, but all the other TV stations and news organisations around the world covering the story in a similar manner.

Are the producers and editors of these news organisations so intellectually challenged, shortsighted and generally boneheaded that they cannot comprehend that by broadcasting the gunman's picture and his message, they are playing right into his hands - even when he's dead?

TV2 News and the rest may as well make it an official policy and print it on their respective websites:

'As long as any deranged individual out there is willing to step up and make a suitably horrendous and presumably bloody statement, we will without prejudice broadcast any accompanying message in the form of video or text that they (the perpetrator) would like to have heard by the world at large.'

Broadcasting the gunman's picture and his homemade videos should never happen. It's an embarrassment to these supposedly respectable news organisations.

Because the question repeatedly asked is why do these shootings keeping happening?

And the newsmedia must bear at least a small portion of the blame. By exactly doing the gunman's bidding, the event becomes far more than a tragedy - it also becomes a means for the gunman to get a specific message out and heard, far and wide. Far beyond the borders of those directly affected by the tradegy itself.

Not only is it a shame, it's the greatest disservice imaginable to the victims, and their families and friends. The greatest message a media organisation could send is to report the tragedy, but to steadfastly refuse to play even a single video of the gunman, show a single picture of him, or read (or print) any statements of his on air. It's even debatable if revealing his name at all has any value.

That is, news organisations should send a message loud and clear they they will not be turned into a platform for any crazed individual wanting to get their words out and heard (and their image seen) simply by virtue of having carried out a horrendously violent act, as this one was.

But surely those at TV2 News, and all the various other news organisations out there around the world, are well aware of this? And knowing this, one would think it would be enough to stop them cold in their tracks.

Are there not a few courageous producers and editors out there willing to take a principled stance, even if they are in the minority, and refuse to broadcast these images? There must be. You certainly won't find them employed at TV2 News in Denmark.

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