Why Cleveland Newspaper Didn’t Cover Sensational Death of Woman


Cleveland Plain Dealer reader representative Ted Diadiun explores why the newspaper didn’t cover the death of Lynn Jackenheimer of Ashland, Ohio, 70 miles from Cleveland, who was killed by her former boyfriend last month. Cleveland television stations jumped all over the story. It had all the elements of good TV — a lurid tale about a pretty, vivacious woman, a mysterious disappearance, a violent conclusion and a missing perpetrator.

The Plain Dealer did not cover it because it wasn’t a local story, Diadiun said. Chris Quinn, the editor who directs the paper’s local news coverage, said, “We’re not going to let vapid television reporting set the news agenda for The Plain Dealer.” Diadiun cites the “Missing White Woman Syndrome.” The FBI’s National Crime Information Center website includes annual statistics on missing and unidentified people. There were 692,994 entries in 2010. Of these, almost 20,000 are listed as involuntary — meaning abducted or kidnapped. How many of those became national stories? Five? Fewer?

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