Reporting on race

Dateline: Tue 10 Sep 2013

Former Indianapolis Star and News reporter Abe Aamidor has written a piece about race and reporting -- "When Race is Relevant: In the Quest for Ethics and Sensitivity, Are News Outlets Leaving Out Important Details Too Often?"

The piece appears in the July/August 2013 issue of Quill, the magazine of the Society of Professional Jounralists.

The article is actually adapted from a larger piece, a chapter in the book "Media Smackdown: Deconstructing the News and the Future of Journalism," co-authored by Aamidor, Jim A. Kuypers of Virginia Tech and Susan Wiesinger of Cal State-Chico. The book was published this year by Peter Lang USA.

Aamidor says that the article documents that some media outlets DO suppress details about race in reporting on crime, often in contravention of the media outlet's own policies, which typically permit reporting on race when such a detail adds to the other details -- such as gender, height, scarring, tattoos or any other identifying physical characteristics.

Aamidor argues that only the neo-Nazis and white power crazies benefit from this kind of self-censorship.

I tend to agree.

I always find it ironic when the Star (in paritcular) leaves out race in reporting a crime, but then Crime Stoppers, which runs ads in the paper in an effort to track down suspects, lists not only race, etc., but also includes a photo.




hendy [Member] said:

In reporting crimes where suspects are sought, then race is relevant. Once they're found, it's not really relevant.

2013-09-10 21:27:52

Jason [unverified] said:

This mindset has also produced something I've found odd: when it's white suspect/minority victim there seems to be a logical conclusion that it was a hate crime. When it's the other way around, even with evidence to support the claim, it kind of gets brushed aside.

Case in point: the fellow in NY last week who said he's going to beat the s*** out of the next cracker he sees. Said cracker dies and, I believe it was the Post, said the police are "investigating" whether or not it could have been a hate crime.

2013-09-13 09:09:02

Jake [unverified] said:

Race is relevant for at least a couple of reasons.

It shows the huge disproportion of drug arrests that fall on Blacks, and thus how unfair drug prohibition is.

It also reveals the disproportion of violent and property crimes commit by Blacks, which are deserving of a national discussion that is being suppressed to no good end.

The plundering of Black America by government, and its criminal consequences, must be addressed.

2013-09-15 19:32:24

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2013-09-16 13:09:48

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