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Friday, March 16, 2012

CSW Commentary: Kansas City News Media Coverage of Shootings is ALL About Location

A suburban Kansas City teenager gets shot once accidentally by a friend and it's in the local news media for days...

An inner-city teen gets shot three times on purpose and- except for the story here at CSW- it's not even news on any of the four TV newscasts or the city's print news monopoly.

I know that in the local corporate news media there IS a distinction- I was told as much once.

Yes- back in the 1990's while I was employed by one of this burg's media giants (I'm not disclosing who- and don't ask) I was basically told by one of their representatives that inner-city shootings weren't as important as those that happened in lower-crime areas (the suburbs).

I recall my reaction at the time still: "Oh REALLY???"

The news came off to me like an inner-city life just wasn't as important as a suburban life (see the difference in school districts- etc).

In short- it REALLY offended me in so much that ANY shooting- or violence- ANYWHERE- should be be given the harsh light of exposure.

There are decent- law-abiding folks stuck in the inner-city as much as others run to suburbia and exurbia to escape crime.

If yesterday's 15-year-old victim had been shot in suburbia- it would be leading news.

But yesterday's shooting of a teenager didn't appear to be news at all.... 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I work for a metro ambulance service. You are spot on. I remember running a call two years ago. It was in the urban core. A guy was shot square in the chest and the attacker ran off. The victim was willing to prosecute. Seemed like a totally random crime. Other people who saw it happen said the same thing: guy just walking to the store got blasted and the shooter ran off.

I never heard a peep from the news. Of all the shootings I've run in the time I've worked here, I bet less than 25% of them are on the news. Stabbings, even less. I bet one stabbing in 20 makes the news.

Shocking to me. People have no idea how many shootings there are in the metro that never get reported.

I actually read your blog to get some follow up on my calls. Nobody else has it.