|This article explores the news media term "the Columbine Effect," which
was coined in the December 6, 1999 issue of Time magazine. The media use
"Columbine Effect" to refer to what they described as the increased
creation of zero tolerance policies and other punitive measures for
dealing with school violence that followed the 1999 Columbine shootings.
Drawing on content analysis of mainstream national news media sources (New
York Times, CNN, and Time magazine), I examine three issues: First, I
describe the emergence and meaning of the term "The Columbine Effect."
Second, I trace the evolution of the term over time. Third, I compare the
media's usage of the term, and compare that usage to criminological
studies, to assess the veracity of the media's claim that a "Columbine
Effect" has in fact occurred.
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