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Should the Media Withhold Accurate Information?

In my latest media column for the Rocky Mountain News, I suggest the answer is "yes." A case in point is the recent controversy over the Boulder Daily Camera publishing a picture of a man arrested for a notorious local crime, even though publication of the photo could taint the line-up identification made by witnesses, thereby ruining the criminal case.

More broadly, I suggest that the media should not become a de facto accomplice of people who murder to achieve publicity--such as school shooters, or assassins of celebrities. Put the photos of the victims, not the killers, on the front page. And minimize use of the killer's name.

Finally, the media and the public should begin a dialogue for how the media can avoid serving as a force multiplier for terrorists by making terrorists seem more powerful than really are.

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