Your View: Identifying race

3 years 3 months 2 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
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A judge has turned down a Ferguson lawmaker's attempt to run for a seat in the... More >>
2 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 9:36:00 AM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Zoo has welcomed a baby giraffe. Zoo officials announced Tuesday that Beau was... More >>
2 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 7:18:00 AM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
FERGUSON (AP) — St. Louis County authorities say a 70-year-old Green Park woman died from heat-related issues when her home's... More >>
2 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 6:29:00 AM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
KIRKWOOD (AP) — A 71-year-old St. Louis man and his adult son are both charged with assault for allegedly beating... More >>
2 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 6:02:00 AM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Harry S. Truman VA Hospital is building a home to ease the burden of travel for veterans... More >>
2 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 3:00:00 AM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
FAYETTE - City leaders are working toward a solution for its volunteer-based fire department. The Fayette Board of Aldermen... More >>
2 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 12:44:00 AM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - New Bloomfield citizens are looking for answers after yet another city council meeting was canceled Tuesday. ... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 8:40:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Ryan Lee Gehris said he’s always loved to ride his bike. Lately, that hobby has turned... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 6:39:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
MEXICO - The Mexico Public Safety Department arrested two people and accused them of child abuse in Mexico, Missouri, following... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 5:31:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - The Moberly Police Department has a new directory for people with autism, but some people think it shouldn't... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 3:49:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY – Crews recently broke ground on a new hog farm in Callaway County, and locals have strong opinions... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 3:06:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON, D.C. - More than 600 members of the United Methodist Church have issued a formal church complaint against Attorney... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 3:01:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Radio Television Digital News Association has named KOMU.com best website in a small market for the second... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 2:48:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A punctured gas line caused large-scale evacuations in the heart of downtown Columbia Tuesday afternoon. Columbia Police... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 2:38:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Cole County judge says there are a few key legal questions to be answered before he... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 1:40:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Juneteenth brings communities together to honor the official ending of slavery in the U.S. One group in Jefferson... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 11:17:00 AM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Democratic Party and a World War II veteran are suing to block the appointment of... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 11:10:00 AM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Trump administration policy to force separation of migrant children and parents at the U.S.-Mexico... More >>
3 days ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 7:58:00 AM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 69°
11am 69°
12pm 70°
1pm 72°
2pm 74°