Opinion

Abduction cases only covered for rich, white children

(U-WIRE) MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Anyone who has watched CNN, MSNBC, Fox News or C-SPAN lately knows about little Elizabeth Smart, a girl who was kidnapped. It is a tragic story. One that most likely will not have a happy ending.

And even though the story is newsworthy, the amount of coverage it has received is insane.

It is all over the news, every day. This little girl has gotten just as much coverage as the Jon Benet Ramsey case, if not more.

Why has this story has gotten so much coverage?

One simple reason: money.

Ever notice how all the cases of kidnapping and murders of children seem to be involving an upper-class white family? Ever notice the size of the house in the background and the make of the car? The neighborhood they live in?

We know about all the young, white girls who are being kidnapped left and right, but what about the others?

These situations are definitely serious, but it’s ironic that the only ones who get air time are the ones with money.

Ok, I should know better. I should know that this is the world we have come to live in. This is the kind of thing Americans have just accepted over the years: if you have money, you get stuff done. Well, that is completely asinine. It’s absurd that the coverage of such a huge issue is not done fairly and equally. Do you think white girls are the only ones being murdered and kidnapped in the entire United States?

So what about the others? When is it their turn? When will their families get to be on national television talking about how their little girl or boy was taken out of their home?

As a journalist, I am sickened by the news I see every night. It disgusts me watching Ashley Banfield talk to the entire family of this girl, ever day. Let me say that again, EVERY DAY. She has spoken with aunts, neighbors, uncles, cousins, parents, the babysitter —- you name it, she has interviewed it. I am surprised she has not had the family dog on the show crying because he misses his owner.

Journalism is about reporting the news to others. It is about informing America about ALL the problems in the world, not just the ones with money behind them. I would love to turn on the television and see a lower class, ethnic child getting air time, actually getting coverage on national television. Wouldn’t that be insane: newscasters actually reporting all the news on all the people? Newcasters actually doing their job the right way. I am not going to get to excited about the idea, because I know it will never happen. Nothing ever changes in this country, and money will always make the world go round.

August 30, 2002

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.