The first major magazine to adopt a “No Notoriety” policy — in which media outlets avoid giving publicity to the perpetrators of mass killings — is People magazine.
Deadline.com reports that the magazine’s editor, Jess Cagle, sent out an open letter to readers announcing People’s new policy. “We will be careful to avoid giving individuals who commit or attempt these crimes more notoriety,” Cagle wrote.
He added: “Over the next few months People will cover individuals and organizations working to curb violence in their communities and looking for solutions on a grassroots level. Several of you wrote to People reminding us that when covering crimes like the Oregon shooting, it’s important to focus on the victims, not the killer. We agree.”
The No Notoriety movement was founded after the Aurora, Colo., theater shooting in which 12 people were killed and 70 others wounded. No Notoriety co-founder Caren Teves, whose son died in the July 20, 2012 shooting, responded to the People announcement, saying: “Not only is People magazine telling copy cat shooters that they will not be receiving fame in this way anymore, but it will stop the re-victimization of those of us who are directly affected and will place the attention on the victims and the heroes which is where it should be.”
Teves added: “Taking away the known motivating factor of infamy is one of several important steps in eliminating our country’s epidemic of horrific mass shootings.”