Washington Post narrative puts focus on survivor, not offender, of mass shooting

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When I think about the recent attacks in San Bernardino and the Planned Parenthood clinic, I can quickly recall the names and photos of the offenders. But I couldn’t tell you the names of the victims and survivors. This is probably true for many news consumers — partly because the media tends to focus more on offenders than on victims.

This is slowly beginning to change, thanks to efforts such as the “No Notoriety” campaign, which Tom and Caren Teves started after their son was killed in the Aurora theater shootings. The Teves say they want less coverage of offenders and more coverage of those affected by mass shootings.

A new Washington Post story, “A Survivor’s Life,” stands out for this reason. The longform narrative focuses on 16-year-old survivor Cheyeanne Fitzgerald, who was shot in the back during the Umpqua Community College mass shooting two months ago.

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Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Poynter.org. Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at mjtenore@gmail.com.

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