Your View: Identifying race

3 years 3 months 5 days ago Friday, March 20 2015 Mar 20, 2015 Friday, March 20, 2015 10:57:00 AM CDT March 20, 2015 in Your View
By: Julia Avery and Beth Anne Carroll, KOMU 8 Reporters
loading

COLUMBIA - On more than one occasion, KOMU 8 viewers have asked about the importance of identifying race in a story.

In March, a story was posted on the KOMU 8 website and Facebook page about the shooting of two police officers in Ferguson. Some viewers expressed their opinions about race being included in the story. Katryna Rachel said, "Why does it matter that Darren Wilson was white? The moment people stop saying innocent black teenager and racist white cop then this will stop. The news keeps the racial plot going and innocent police officers that keep us safe are being harmed. The media is the reason this will not go away." Twenty nine viewers "liked" her comment.

Around the same time, KOMU 8 covered a shooting that occured in Boone County. Race was not included in the story and the feedback was similar. Michael Thomas said, "Wait you forgot to tell us what race everyone was. Or does that only matter when it makes a good headline?"

Comments of the media "stirring the pot" by mentioning race has been included in many comments on the KOMU 8 website. The question is, when is it okay, if ever, to include such details?

Wayne Brekhus, MU Associate Professor of Sociology said, "I don't think media is guilty of stirring the pot when it comes to racial issues. I think they are interested in examining different angles of issues, and certainly, race is a prominent feature of social life even if people don't want to think about that, because when you think about that, it implies that racial discrimination and inequalities exist and I think we live in a time now where we're explicitly acknowledging that and that makes people uncomfortable."

KOMU 8 talked to several journalists and professors about the issue and most agreed that it depends on the story.

Cristina Mislan, Assistant Professor of Journalism said, "I don't know if I think the media should and can avoid it. I think if there's a story, for instance about police brutality in Ferguson, well then of course we're going to talk about race, as well as other factors that are going to be involved in that story. So you can't avoid that, nor should you, because the point of the media is to give as much information as possible. So I think if we think of it in those terms, how do we give as much information as possible and what is our purpose. And if we think about what our purpose is, then we can talk about if race is important."

Brekhus said he sees race mentioned more often when the story involves minorities. He said, "Sometimes, it is not mentioned when everybody involved is white. I think then just people are mentioned or the age is mentioned or that it was two men in a bar fight. But often when it's white on white crime, we tend to just call it crime and not really recognize race. In terms of covering things in the same way, if you're going to mention race when it involves minorities, you should mention race when it involves the majority."

KOMU 8's Interactive Director Annie Hammock said, "We typically don't even have discussions about [identifying race] in the newsroom, because it just sort of goes without saying that you wouldn't include race in a story unless race was a key part of that story. And from the beginning, Ferguson was very racialized. From the beginning, the black community was very angry about the shooting and blamed the the relationship between the mostly white police department and the mostly black community."

So what do you think? Should race be included in certain stories? Is the media stirring the pot by doing so?

Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus,  then watch KOMU-8 news at six on Fridays to catch your view of the news.

More News

Grid
List
BOONVILLE - People will see a few more cars drive through town this weekend, as the city celebrates its annual... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 5:41:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE – Police said a technician at a local gas station found an internal skimmer device inside a gas pump... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 4:49:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A Fulton man could face more than 200 years in prison after being found guilty of 12... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 4:01:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The U.S. House passed the 2018 farm bill, formally known as the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 3:49:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
FULTON - Despite rainfall these past two days, statistics show most of Missouri is dryer than usual. Data released... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 3:37:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
HUNTSVILLE – The sentencing phase of the trial for a convicted murderer began Friday. Jeffrey Nichols was convicted Thursday... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 3:15:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Graduate students at the University of Missouri celebrated Thursday after they were officially considered employees, but the celebration... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 2:32:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU has faced big challenges in recent years - from changes in administration to loss of state funding... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 1:43:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY - The Kansas City Police Department has canceled an Amber Alert for Brajean Sledge, a missing 15-year-old girl... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 10:29:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
McALLEN, Texas (AP) — Immigration enforcement on the U.S.-Mexico border was plunged deeper into chaos over President Donald Trump's... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 7:52:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Mike Parson signed his first five bills as Missouri's governor Friday. The bills he signed... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 7:17:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- More than 30 children attending a summer camp in Florida were taken to the hospital Thursday after they... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 7:12:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
MORGAN COUNTY - Authorities said a Gravois Mills woman died in a one-vehicle car accident near Laurie, Missouri. According... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 6:32:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A statewide campaign encourages expecting mothers to monitor their infant's movement in the womb. The Missouri... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 4:14:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - After months of tension between citizens and city officials, the city council met for the first time... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 9:30:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
AUXVASSE - Police in Auxvasse posted a warning on Facebook Wednesday about unlicensed salesmen in the area, but the company... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:15:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - 1 and 6 males are sexually abused by the time they are 18. For the first time... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 6:49:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri is changing some of its rules and regulations to offer more leave and layoff... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 5:34:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 79°
6pm 85°
7pm 85°
8pm 83°
9pm 78°