Following is a copy of the first of a series of emails I am sending to prominent journalists and other persons to get support for my campaign to change the way tragedies like the Colorado slaughter of twelve innocent people and wounding of several others is reported.
I firmly believe that journalists are obliged to find a proactive, measured response to this problem.
Dear Ms. Moshavi
I am taking this opportunity to bring your attention to a campaign I have started to end the manipulation of international media houses by morally bankrupt, mass murderers.
I believe that in your role as Vice President, New Initiatives with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) you can help this campaign achieve the kind of prominence it deserves and fulfill its capacity to make the world a safer place for all of us.
My campaign was prompted by the recent slaying of 12 innocent cinema goers in Colorado.
I believe the fact that the individual who perpetrated this wholly self-serving, callous and inhumane act (and whom I will not be naming) did so in a "media space" - and in the media's face, as it were - is itself a significant reason for media owners and journalists to consider taking the lead in formulating a coherent, sustainable response to this kind of opportunistic violence.
Please read and consider signing my petition, located at this link: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/ru
I feel confident that with your endorsement, other influential global media practitioners may consider signing the petition also.
If you feel unable to sign the petition in its current form or at all - perhaps because you find the essential idea of media self-censorship objectionable - please let me know.
You can respond to me privately or on the Allvoices.com platform, by signing up for my organization's Intelek Domino Effect Associates (IDEAs) project - if you are not already registered with that citizen journalism blog.
To register for the IDEAs project just click on this link: www.allvoices.com/intelek.
I gather from your biography on the International Center for Journalists website that you have a keen interest in citizen journalism. I hope that whether or not you support my campaign, you will avail yourself of this opportunity to engage not only with me, but with citizens around the world on important questions around the roles and responsibilities of the media.
Footnote: On the question of self-censorship
It seems to me that the business of uncovering and reporting on facts by journalists is always influenced by some degree of personal selectivity and subjectivity - conscious or unconscious.
Having regard to the laws on libel, defamation, court imposed age restrictions protecting the identity of minors, and so on, are examples of conscious selectivity and subjectivity motivations.
The unconscious motivations - the real peril for journalists, I think - have to do with our culturally derived inclinations and presumptions.
For journalists, more than any other profession, perhaps, issues of self-censorship are critically bound to those of self-awareness.