Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Covering Diversity and Ferguson #BlackLivesMatter

By: Edie Lotus

It's a sad reality for the U.S. that our news has been bombarding left and right with reports of police shootings and brutality against African Americans leading to the necessary and successful movement, Black Lives Matter.

For this weeks readings, JOUR 3200 took a look at pieces by Vox, Alijazeera America, Politico, and Nieman Reports. All of which focused on the historical case of Michael Brown who was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, in August of 2014.

This event sparked debates and outrage all across America. For my blog post, I'll be focusing on how Ferguson was covered and experienced here on Ohio University's campus along with how Ferguson serves as a great example of news events becoming so personal across the nation thanks to social media.

Several local news outlets covered bobcat students after they protested at Baker University as a reaction to the Ferguson decision in November of last year. WOUB covered this event and did so in what I believe to be a very professional and unbiased way but still missed something... While still providing a strong piece that triggered emotional appeal of their readers. I believe this was mainly because of the quotes from students present at the protest that were obviously very passionate about this case... However, from a ethical standpoint I personally wondered... Should quotes from both sides of the debate (because as we know some students thought the decision was just and felt the student protest was unnecessary) should've been included in this piece? By not including quotes from both sides of the debate, did WOUB's writer for this piece show bias? Even as someone who disagreed with the Ferguson decision, I felt that the other point of view should've been included in his piece regardless of how majority of the campus felt otherwise. (Picture of event included below)

Ferguson, also is a great example of how news and social media have become strongly intertwined in a very powerful and informative way. For this, I read a piece by The Washington Post which really supported this idea. The Washington Post, specifically spent part of this article focusing on how Social Media differs from News in the sense of how it can be of course a way of spreading the word of national events but also serve as a trigger and motivator... Especially feelings of sadness and anger. I think this is a very important idea because all though social media can be very strategic, I think it could also be very active rather than just informative.

Some examples of SM during Ferguson:

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