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Thread: Why Do Some Missing People Get More News Coverage?

  1. #1
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    Why Do Some Missing People Get More News Coverage?

    Why Do Some Missing People Get More News Coverage?

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Three weeks ago, Christie Wilson, a 27-year-old woman from Sacramento, vanished after spending the night gambling at Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln. This month, several other people also disappeared; however, their cases have not received as much attention.




    Through e-mails and phone calls, KCRA 3 has heard from viewers who asked how missing person stories are picked to cover. In short, KCRA 3 takes its cues from law enforcement who say they have very specific criteria for calling someone an "at risk" person or -- in more extreme cases -- someone missing under "suspicious circumstances."

    Wilson's case was cut and dry for law enforcement to classify as a person missing under suspicious circumstances. She was last seen with a man who has a violent criminal history. Her car was left behind. And since Oct. 5, there's been no activity on her cell phone or bank accounts.



    More ... http://www.kcra.com/news/5175903/detail.html

    __________________________________________________ __

    We often do discuss this subject.

    This hit me hard today when I saw her picture in the news (below).
    Beverly Paul was missing for a week, and today was the first news story I had seen of her. I checked back hours later today and it turns out she was actually found but not identified on October 19th. A truck had run over her
    on the highway that day ... it took them that long to identify her and figure
    out that this missing person was her. Why? I suspect because she didn't have the same "media" coverage ... To me, it just seems like no one was in a frenzy to put two and two together, except maybe her friends -- who incidently told LE that she had been feeling depressed lately.
    And how depressing that the media didn't even seem to give
    her the proper attention she deserved.

    Her story I found today: http://www.kcra.com/news/5184597/detail.html

  2. #2
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    Oct 2004
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    Same thing I wondered about Adeyooye. Why aren't others covered in the media as much as some? Because the media doesn't get ratings for missing black women. It's a sad truth.....the media chooses which ones to cover and which ones to blip.

  3. #3
    Wow..such a beautful girl !!! Oh..the one from Il was found dead in Miss, btw...there was a lot of coverage here on her.

  4. #4
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    IMO it is not always just one thing.
    1) First and foremost I think is the media appeal- let's face it, young white attractive girls get the most attention.
    2) The story. A person who is heavily involved in drugs or has a habit of running away just doesn't have the same attraction as a child or person who is steady, and known in the community (how well known they are in the community, and the circumstances they are known does matter). Also, the possibility of suspects- not as much of an attention grabber if the suspect is known.
    3) Information. If there is no new info there is nothing to report. Look at what the ones who do get noticed have in common. LE gives frequent interviews or the family is constantly giving out info. They are willing to speak freely with the press- ususally right from the start. They don't rush the info- they dribble it out, a little one day and then more the next. They keep the media advised of any sightings/leads they may have even if they aren't sure of the validity.
    4) A friendly attitude with the media is imperative. A family who acts like the media is an intrusion will often soon be complaining that they get no attention.
    5) The range. A case where it is thought to be perpetrated by a local suspect, and to have remained in the local area will only get local attention.
    Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........

    Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?


    "Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight

  5. #5
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    Oct 2005
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    ask the media

    Maybe we should actually ask several of the media stations & programs what criteria or events shape/change the amount of news coverage they give to a missing person case?


    I have my own opinions on that which I will post in a separate post but I think it might help families to know up front or at least for us in this forum to know up front what things help someone get coverage. I know in some cases it seems that people emailing and/or calling seemed to help.
    Lets see if they really think that race plays into the ratings as some people think.

  6. #6
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    my own opinion

    I think that a story with charactersistics that can grab and hold an audience are more likely to get air time than other stories. (A truly heart wrenching story is good for air time.) I believe a photogenic victem helps alot. Having a family member that seems sweet & is also photogenic and talks without much accent and has a good voice seems to help.

    Having colorful bad guys in a case with new stuff coming to light about them all the time helps.

    But I have to believe too that events also play a large role. If you are kidnapped on the day a Nine Eleven event happens you aren't going to get much airtime. A hurricane can slurp up the available air time also.

    I think also that when people comment on TV shows websites & the audience email asking for more coverage it seems to help.

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