Why The News Media Pay More Attention To Some Murder Victims


Why do some murders get much more media coverage than others? That age-old question is explored by the Reno (Nv.) News & Review after the case of Brianna Denison, a local 19-year old found strangled last month, several weeks after her disappearance. The News & Review said that during the widely publicized search for Denison, many Renoites said a variation of, “It wouldn't be getting this kind of attention if she were a single black mother.” (Denison was a white college student). David Krajicek, author, former police reporter and vice president of Criminal Justice Journalists, said, “Journalists in our profession, we're kind of like woolly mammoths. You know, we have this image of what news should be, and I guess it's conscious for some of us and subconscious for others, but somehow we believe that the death of a 22-year-old co-ed is somehow more interesting and more engaging than the death of a 60-something college professor.”

News & Review reporter Kat Kerlin believes that some murders of low income people or mentally unbalanced victims do not resonate with the public or journalists as strongly as someone who could be themselves. She said, “When something happens to someone who's from a nice family, going to school, doing all the things that you think you're supposed to do in order to have a good life, and something happens to them, then middle America says, 'Oh God, then that could happen to us.' And I think that that is what is so scary to them.”

Link: http://www.newsreview.com/reno/Content?oid=640061

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