Jack Dunphy has an excellent piece at Pajamas Media regarding what it takes to get a murder reported by Big Media nowadays. His piece begins:
It’s often difficult to predict when a crime story will tickle the media’s antennae. I still recall the puzzlement I felt when, early in my police career, I would be at the scene of some gang murder in South-Central Los Angeles waiting for the newspaper and television reporters to arrive. They seldom did, and I came to learn that most crimes in the inner city, even murders, were somehow considered less than newsworthy. Little has changed.
Jack sets out the calculus for whether a story gets coverage:
The Los Angeles Times and the local television stations seem to employ a peculiar calculus when deciding to cover a crime story, and in the event they do, how much coverage to give it. Among the factors weighed in this calculus are the number and age of the victims, their perceived culpability (i.e. the sympathy factor), and the crime’s proximity to a white neighborhood. . . . Today, with violence in Los Angeles on the decline, there is a new variable in the calculus of determining a given crime’s newsworthiness: the inter-racial factor. When a black gang member kills another black gang member it will most likely be ignored in the media, just as when both the murderer and the murdered are Latinos. But let a Latino gang member kill a black one, or vice versa, now that’s a story.
Read it all.
This is a good day for this piece to come out, because it dovetails nicely with the post immediately below, about Hillary’s pandering visit to Compton yesterday. There is no indication that she talked about the war in our inner cities. Why should she? The newspapers don’t.
In that post, I talk about a shooting case I handled where four teenaged boys were shot, blocks from the church where Hillary spoke. Four boys. Did you hear about it on the news? Was it a nationwide story? Of course not. Just another day in Compton.
Down the street from the church where Hillary spoke, I used to teach classes of fifth-graders about staying out of a life of gangs and crime. I talked about it in this November 2003 post:
[T]here was a skit that involved someone being shot. I asked the students to raise their hands if they had ever heard gunfire from their houses.
Every hand in the room went up.
I asked them to raise their hands if a family member or friend had been shot.
Every hand but two went up.
How does Hillary not talk about that? How does the Los Angeles Times not talk about that? Why does our California section report the deaths of soldiers from Indiana with no connection to California who died in Iraq, but not the deaths of young teenaged girls gunned down in Compton?
Read all of Jack’s piece for more insight into the question. Click here.