The color of news

News & Politics

Where have all the missing women of color gone? Who cares. Certainly not cable or network news executives who have spent hours and hours covering the disappearance of the very white Natalee Holloway. Okay, so we already know that, but it's still edifying to read the string of excuses they offer in response. Here's Mark Effron, vice president of MSNBC News Daytime Programming in a L.A. Times article on the subject:

"It's not like there's a kind of cabal where MSNBC and CNN and Fox get together and say, 'Boy, this is a good one. That's not a good one,' " he said. "Usually, there's an involved family that tends to be sophisticated in how to use the media. [LINK]
So now the families of victims have to develop the PR skills required to attract the attention of lazy, self-entitled shit like Effron. Too bad it didn't work for 24-year old Tamika Huston's aunt who is a Miami public relations executive. But at least Effron has the courage to wear his insensitivity on his sleeve, unlike some of his other colleagues who just plain wimped out:
Several media organizations asked for comment on the issue declined. CNN spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg said news executives were unavailable. Barbara Cochran, the president of the Radio-Television News Director's Assn., said in an e-mail she was unavailable. Fox News spokeswoman Dana Klinghoffer said that "a lot of people are out and unavailable. I just think it's one we're going to have to sit out."
Well, it is the dog days of summer, but wait, what about this AP report:
When "Dateline NBC" reporter Josh Mankiewicz asked television news division chiefs to talk about disproportionate coverage of attractive white females who go missing, only his boss agreed. ... Mankiewicz said he asked news bosses at ABC, CBS, CNN and Fox News Channel to talk about the issue.
"It's an uncomfortable question to address," he said, "and I think there may be a feeling that if there's going to be an examination done, they're going to do it themselves rather than watch it on someone else's network." [LINK]
Journalism, it's all about being first. Just like NBC will be the first to produce a "groundbreaking" special that offers the same old self-excusing denial: "NBC News President Neal Shapiro was interviewed, telling Mankiewicz that race is not a factor in decisions about who NBC covers and how it is done."

Now that's news to me.

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