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Massive media conglomerate calls to ‘break’ the cycle of crime coverage: ‘We’ve fostered systemic racism’

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Just last week, the Austin American-Statesman refused to provide the description of a black man suspected of participating in a mass shooting in Texas because it “could be harmful in perpetuating stereotypes.”

Now, the Poynter Institute for Media Studies is calling for selective covering of crime in American communities — this coming amid a major crime surge in Democrat-run cities across the country, happening in the vacuum of the party’s “Defund the Police” campaign that not only demonized law enforcement, but has police officers back on their heels.

Billed as a “global leader in journalism,” Poynter is a non-profit journalism school and research organization located in St. Petersburg, Fla. The school owns the Tampa Bay Times newspaper, the International Fact-Checking Network, and operates PolitiFact.

And Poynter apparently believes that when it comes to journalism, reporting should be determined by the “public good,” rather than the actual story.

The secondary headline of an article from Doris Truong, the director of training and diversity at Poynter, came right out to proclaim: “The public good — rather than the public’s interest — should be a prevailing factor.”

Noting that the crime blotter has been a staple for news organizations since the 1830s, Truong suggested “rewriting information provided by police requires little investment from the reporter.”

She went on to point out that the Associated Press just announced that it is no longer naming suspects in minor crime stories, and will also “stop publishing stories driven mainly by a particularly embarrassing mugshot.”

The editorial further noted that it’s “increasingly common for news organizations to abandon mugshot galleries,” with Truong referencing “the racial reckoning following George Floyd’s murder.”

“Arrests for misdemeanors disproportionately affect people of color,” she announced. “Systemic racism compounds the injustice as reviews have shown that prosecutors are more likely to exclude black jurors from trials.”

The Poynter director stressed that journalists “can be smarter about who we cover and the follow-up stories we provide.”

She also quoted Kelly McBride, who chairs the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership at Poynter: “Local news reporters have amplified narratives that connect black and brown communities to crime. As a result, we have fostered systemic racism through our crime coverage.”

“Journalism is a public service,” Truong concluded. “We need to regularly revisit our practices to ensure that they do not cause more harm than good.”

A moral standard that doesn’t seem to apply to the unquestionable liberal bias of the media that favors one party over another — at the expense of half the country, if not more.

As for the Austin American-Statesman, PolitiFact actually rated the accurate claim that the newspaper would not report on the suspect’s description as “false,” claiming the newspaper refrained from using the police department’s suspect description not because the person was black, but because “it was not specific enough to apply to one individual.”

Either way, the end result is that the story is suppressed on social media.

Chris Menahan, publisher of the independent news site InformationLiberation.com, summed it all up thusly: “Poynter president Neil Brown hates the fact people can still see what’s really happening in our streets despite their massive censorship regime and their blacklists.”

Here’s a quick sampling of responses from Twitter that proves “you can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.”

Tom Tillison

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