Thursday, June 14, 2007

News and violence

Outskirts reminded me of something I wanted to blog about. At lunch yesterday someone mentioned that WVIR channel 29 seeks to frighten people with all its mayhem news.

So last night, I was being my usual ADD self flipping channels until I found something interesting. Well on the news a reporter from WVIR was interviewing a former gang member whose thesis essentially was these random beatings are not initiation rituals for gangs (phew).

Given that relief, the reporter had to go on and state the former gang member told him gang members wear large white t-shirts and baggy jeans so people wont be able to identify them as easily. I am very disturbed by this since the actual former gang member didnt say it to the camera (it is not in the story I link to above) and it just breeds fear. Not a good idea to stereotype people based on what they are wearing, it stigmatizes all people wearing that style. Moreover, just because people dress the same doesnt mean witnesses cant distinguish between people (that is just dumb statement the reporter made).

That remark is a red herring in the story, one intended to frighten people, not educate. So I wasnt convinced at lunch yesterday that WVIR had the intention of scaring people, now I am more inclined to believe it.

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