Media coverage of homcide is marked by an “upside-down logic,” says Los Angeles Times reporter Jill Leovy, who is writing a homicide blog that was previously reported by Crime & Justice News. Journalists tend to cover “the very unlikely cases that don’t represent what’s really happening most days in Los Angeles County. It creates, I think, a false view of who’s safe and who’s not and where homicide is concentrated,” she tells National Public Radio’s On The Media. The blog can be found at http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/homicidereport.
Discussing the role of race in reporting on murders, Loevy said, “This is an area where there’s stunning inequality. Black males in this country are four percent of the population, and they’re around thirty-five percent of all homicide victims. It’s a public health problem, and no more than it would be irresponsible to talk about AIDS without ever mentioning gay men or intravenous drug users, I think it would be irresponsible to talk about homicide and not talk about the groups that are disproportionately afflicted.” The discussion of race and media coverage is “more controversial in contexts where people aren’t experiencing a lot of homicide,” says Leovy. In some of L.A.’s black areas, “You generally hear people say, talk more about this, it needs to be out there more. Why aren’t people talking about our victims?”