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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Why the L.A. Times should not have named the Saugus High shooter

Saugus High School
Students of Saugus High School comfort each other at the memorial to victims of the Nov. 14 mass shooting.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Surprised, disappointed, frustrated — that’s how I felt when the Los Angeles Times named the suspect in the Saugus High School shooting.

The student-led news outlet where I am executive editor, USC Annenberg Media, also reported on the shooting. But we did not share the name of the teenage suspect. Annenberg Media policy adheres to the idea of “no notoriety.”

Authorities did not name the suspect and, as of this writing, they still have not provided motives. That means there’s still a chance the motive could be a desire for fame, notoriety or recognition.

I wish the studies about the notoriety effects out there alone would influence top media outlets. I believe it’s more important and challenging for newsrooms to decide what not to report than what to report.

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The next time someone chooses to perpetrate an act of mass violence, please offer “no notoriety.”

Ruby Yuan, Los Angeles

The writer, a USC undergraduate, is executive editor of USC Annenberg Media.


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