Apr 30, 2015
Today on the 5: As Baltimore expresses grief over the death of Freddie Gray, the media
once again rolls out a familiar version of the events.
Thanks for writing in on this Rob. One thing I keep thinking to myself is that as long as we reward this sensationalist way of depicting the news, we'll never get to the truth of what's happening. Instead, it's angry black men destroying property. A city on fire that has lost all control. A low level justification for militarization in the face of resistance to a broken and unfair status quo. No growth or understanding comes from that, just more ratings.
I live and work in Baltimore City, and you nailed it exactly regarding the media coverage.
The initial events of Saturday and Sunday (4/25 & 4/26) deserved a news segment, and the violence, destruction, and uncertainty on Monday were worthy of the around-the-clock media coverage continuing into Tuesday.
No doubt about it - Monday was a desperate and unfortunate day for my city.
But as the week progressed and coverage of the “riots” continued, it was clear that the local media was spinning the events for all that they could.
The local televised news continued expanded coverage throughout the entire week, replaying the Monday video footage continuously, as if it were live, breaking news.
If my television screen was my only portal into events in Baltimore, I would think the city was a minor war-zone.
Yet my own front window showed a different story -- numerous groups gathered on corners, holding signs, singing, and calling for peace in Baltimore.
Neighbors and local restaurants distributing bagged meals and bottled water to the police and reserves stationed on their blocks.
Not everyone was throwing bricks and bottles at police –many residents were instead opening their homes (namely their bathrooms) to law enforcement personnel.
Throughout the week, there were at least 5 large-scale marches/protests scheduled every day throughout the city led by local religious and community groups – all peaceful.
Yes -- there are serious abuses/crimes perpetrated by a minority of police officers in Baltimore.
Yes -- a small percentage of residents used this as an excuse to destroy parts of their community.
But there were many, many more news worthy stories occurring this past week in Baltimore that went unreported, a disservice by the local media outlets towards the community they claim to serve.
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