Disclaimer: This is a freewrite that deals with thoughts that I have had for a while. My punctuation and grammar may be less than stellar as my passion is high. If you wish it read a post about a lighter subject, I suggest perusing previous posts on It’s Lily O..
There is too much going on. My head aches, my heart burns, my eyes shed endless tears. I am over it all. I am overwhelmed by constant news, constant tales of horror and negativity. As a child, I was obsessed with the news, I would day-dream that I was an anchor. I thought Dan Rather was not only one of the most handsome men on T.V., but that he had the coolest job ever. Now, I avoid the news as much as possible.
At first, when the news constantly covered the war in Iraq and scattered school shootings, I was able to tolerate it. In the last eight years it seems that there is a weekly, if not daily terror, that is mentioned. To temper the constant “Breaking news”, several years back I opted to read the news in the newspaper and online. In the recent years, I have found myself losing total respect for every. Single. One. Of my local news outlets.
Before I continue, let me make it clear that my problem is not with the stories that the news reports, but the way they report them.
It started several years ago when they reported a home invasion where a mother of several was killed and her husband wounded. The picture accompanying the article was a mugshot of a Black woman, with disheveled hair. When I first saw that picture I was relieved. At least they had the suspect in custody. However, after reading the article and making the connection between the names of the victim and the woman in the mugshot, I was horrified. Not only was the woman in the mugshot the victim of the home invasion, but the mugshot used was taken SEVEN YEARS prior. I couldn’t understand for the life of me what made them think that it was okay to defame a woman after her death, knowing she left behind children.
The comments below the article, of course, were atrocious. The normal people proclaiming black people to be “animals” and that because she had a mugshot she deserved to be killed. The tried and true “live by the sword, die by the sword” rhetoric. Fed up, I emailed the news station, asking that the picture be taken down. I must not have been alone in expressing my disdain, since the picture was replaced and the article updated.
After recent events, it is hard for me to find a news source that I trust. One that allows people to leave racist, insensitive comments on both their website and social media platforms, to me, means that they endorse said comments. The sensationalized, click-bait titles and tweets by news anchors do not help either.
Who do you trust as a news source when they allow and entertain blatant racism, sexism and hatred to exist on their territory? How can we separate fact from sensationalized half-truths that unfairly demonize underepressented populations?