A new study led by Scott Duxbury, a doctoral student in sociology at Ohio State University, finds that White perpetrators of mass shootings are treated more sympathetically by the media than Black perpetrators of mass shootings.
The study, which examined media coverage of 219 mass shootings, found that White shooters were 95 percent more likely to be described as mentally ill than Black perpetrators. The study found that 78 percent of all White shooters were described as being victims of societal ills compared to only 17 percent of Black shooters.
Duxbury stated that “much of the media coverage of White shooters framed them as sympathetic characters who were suffering from extreme life circumstances. But Black shooters were usually made to seem dangerous and a menace to society.”
The full study, “Mental Illness, the Media, and the Moral Politics of Mass Violence: The Role of Race in Mass Shootings Coverage,” was published on the website of the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency. It may be accessed here.