Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Citizen-Times: A Newspaper of Clear Priorities

(NOT). Check out today's front page and local news section on their website. The big news? Folks are peeved that the liquid dino-poop for their cars has gone up a dime or two. WAAH. The third little news item? A violent racially motivated hate crime in Canton. As a lead, I'd think this would get a lot more coverage and would be useful in getting the community talk about the currents of racism which still course through the mountains. Even the headline doesn't refer to the racist motivations cited in the article "Pub burned with owner tied up inside." At least WLOS leads with it. Sheesh.

6 comments:

ash said...

jay, if you want your news presented in uncomplicated, sensationalized, easily digested one-minute bits, stick with the WLOSers. if you want news about the community presented in context, read the newspaper. who says the crime was racially motivated? Not the police - they're investigating the allegations.

Consider also the delicate line news organizations must walk in presenting this type of news - trumpeting a hate crime gives the criminals just what they want - a huge audience for their ignorance. You can also argue that bringing such incidents to light who hopefully help educate the public, but good luck with that.

Guess i'm saying, let's not jump the gun.

Screwy Hoolie said...

An audience for their ignorance?

What are you talking about?

It seems to me that the more racism is discussed in the open, the less power that ignorant racists have.

Saying that talking about someone's error somehow creates a PR bonanza for hate crimes is not a serious position. If the headline is "Mud People Slain By Righteous Pair", then you might have a point, but I'm guessing the AC-T would be a bit more urbane.

Now saying "the crime may not be a hate crime, so let's not call it that" - That makes sense. Maybe duct taping the guy down and setting the place on fire was merely a personal vendetta between men of different races.

"who says the crime was racially motivated?"

Um... the guys in the newspaper article do...

“They didn’t want to rob the place,” said Linda Holcombe, a bartender at the restaurant. “They just wanted to send a message to Arun and burn the damn place down. It was definitely a racially motivated hate crime.”

Krishnan is of Indian descent, and the pub’s disc jockey is African-American, manager Ernie Stamey said. He said the attackers harassed Krishnan about his workers and him being in interracial relationships."

Just hearsay I guess.

The exciting part will be to see if the AC-T expends any more column inches on whether it's a hate crime or not. And, if it is a hate crime of some sort, will that then mean that the AC-T will have to choose between ;trumpeting' the facts, giving the criminal an audience, or saying nothing, which keeps the hate crime quiet.

Tough call, dude. I wouldn't want to be the AC-T if this is a hate crime.

1000 black lines said...

Right on Ash.

Journalism institutes are bound by ethical rules that dictate distribution of news stories of this nature. Bloggers are not, to my knowledge, and often jump the gun without .

Bottomline, let the professionals do their work.

Screwy Hoolie said...

Mx,

Blech. The professionals can do their work all they want, but to suggest that the papers operate by better ethical standards than bloggers depends on the paper and the blogger.

I could give you a stack of instances where 'the professionals' are acting unprofessionally. They don't get a pass just because they have a history.

1000 black lines said...

I did not write that journalists have "better" standards. Read my comment again.

Journalists agree to submit to the policies and procedures of the media outlet that employs them. If they do not follow the rules they are no longer employed. And yes, the mainstream and local media groups are not perfect and do err. And that's where bloggers have the ability to add perspective to news stories. Bloggers have the potential to be good media watchdogs, but their tendency to react (and over react) is a major weakness.

As far as a discussion concerning whose "stack of instances" is bigger; that's boring and descends into a dividing a community instead of seeking ways to understand individuals and groups and build bridges that unite a community--especially where racism is a real concern.

Screwy Hoolie said...

I guess the overgeneralizations are what drive me to distraction.

Bloggers are different from site to site. Some bloggers are offering superior coverage of local, state, and national issues. Some media outlets have the ethics to contextualize stories, to remember what someone said two weeks ago vs. what they did today.

I don't trust Gannett. I don't trust that an editorial board will make the right decisions. The fourth estate abandoned its role of government watchdog on September 11th, and, while there are signs the corporate media may recover, a gas prices article receiving higher priority than a likely hate crime reminds me of what's wrong.

Bloggers are a fifth estate of sorts, and the corporate media will have to deal with our watching them. That's the way it is. If they don't like it, they can lump it.