Monday, September 12, 2016

Is everything being discussed?

Brea Burks

We as journalists need to make a difference in making sure all of the information that could be provided to the public is on display. Nowadays, I feel as if certain information or how people are portrayed in the media is being discussed with limited information, or information we choose to use.

One story that has been flooding our news feed is Brock Turner and his rape case. If you have not read or heard about his case, Turner was accused and charged for raping a woman at a fraternity party. The media has represented this student as "former student," "Stanford swimmer," "educated," and so on.

Writers aren't taking their jobs seriously anymore about how information is being shown to the public, or if all the information is found. Racial profiling and misrepresentation is, unfortunately, very popular in our media.

Journalists will write a certain way for whites, stating that they are victims, even for a crime they committed, but blacks are automatically proven guilty with no evidence.

A New York Daily News article states how race can play a part in how sentencing is done for the same crime. It shows the difference of how former Vanderbilt football player, Corey Batey, was sentenced to 15-25 years for raping an unconscious woman and Turner was sentenced to 6 months in jail and only served three months for good behavior. How are these stories not justified the same way and told the same? One major step journalists need to take.

Photo from
A question from the article "Dilemmas and Moral Questions: The Heart of Ethical Decision Making" by James E. Lukaszewski, APR, and other Board members of PRSA asked "Was there a serious attempt to find out?" This question stood out to me because are journalists barely scratching the surface with questions that will get them all the information they need? Or are the professionals pleasing certain people by writing what is "needed"?

The media and society are never making a serious attempt to receive and try to be justified in the information they choose to show the public. It is also our duty as journalists to find justice for the people who are wrongfully convicted and racially represented.

I understand if you're confused on how we can help people who are unjustly convicted and racially profiled, but if we wrote more ethically and see how important each story is, you can shed light to stories. This could lead to changes in evidence, how people view a race or gender. It might not be a huge role, but it's a step in the right direction.

Here attached is an article stating how and what happened to Corey Batey in NY Daily News.

Now my question to you is what's the difference from Turner's story and Batey's? Why such a difference in the imprisonment time?

Something has to change.

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