Media organizations must re-evaluate coverage, confront bias


This obvious show of discrimination in some news media continues to happen.

Newspapers and news channels are supposed to serve the public by reporting the things going on in the community. 

It is their duty to let citizens know of important occurrences going on in the city, nation and world, no framing and twisted truths involved.

Yet, these media outlets tend to manipulate or omit information.

On the print issue published Feb. 28, The New York Times placed the story of Leonard Nimoy’s passing on the first page. 

It was surprising that they failed to place “Tiny Missouri town is reeling after gunman kills seven neighbors,” anywhere in the front page.

Nimoy’s death was an important occurrence and its presence on the front page unsurprising. 

However, a killing spree seems just as first page worthy.

This is just one example of the ways in which news media can sometimes get their priorities skewed. 

This is not nearly as inappropriate, however, as when the reporters of television media blatantly make racist remarks towards the victim of a murder.

Just a few months ago, after the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., an MSNBC show host, Joe Scarborough, blamed the entire Michael Brown case on Brown. 

Scarborough compared Brown to George Zimmerman, a man found guilty for the assassination of Trayvon Martin in 2012 and later went on to call both Zimmerman (a murderer) and Brown (the victim of a murder) thugs.

Donny Deutsch, who is also featured on the show, went on to agree with Scarborough.

“It’s not a black-white situation. It’s a thug-police officer situation,” Deutsch said.

Meanwhile, a 16-year-old caucasian boy suspected for killing his mother, father and 12-year-old sister, were described as “a faithful churchgoer who was baptized just two months ago,” and “a Kentucky high school ROTC student and active church member” by the Daily Mail on Feb. 16.

Although not all news media is like this, the Daily Mail is definitely not alone when it comes to making white people look better than they would a black person in the same situation.

This obvious show of discrimination in some news media continues to happen, and although repercussions occur, it seems that does not deter some reporters from making their stereotypical thinking known.

While the public has recently grown more aware of the racism the change has been minimal.

People have protested through the creation of movies, such as the film “Dear White People,” directed by Justin Simien.

A wave of numerous protests and looting took place in Ferguson from the night after Michael Brown’s death until the final days of August.

Yet, even after all these events which clearly show the dissatisfaction of the American people with the way the government employees act and the way some news media represents these events, everything remains painfully the same.

The question now is: What needs to take place for people to understand the color of your skin is not what marks you innocent or guilty?

Perhaps the solution lies in the people who shape our views of the world, those who report and inform: Journalists.