The Local Media Bias

The Local Media Bias by Martel Miller 21 Sep 2006 Local media, the newspaper and television stations here in our community refuse to publish fairly. Our local media has numerous articles and television stories about juvenile misbehavior. While legally, these stories involve minors, which the general public is rightfully barred from hearing about, our local media becomes very selective when they do decide to run stories of our local youth. For example, the News-Gazette reported the controversy surrounding a seventh grader at the Franklin Middle School who happened to be the son of Unit 4's Superintendent, Arthur Culver. Another example is the school fight at Central High School that involved several african american females. The News-Gazette and Channel 3 News reported that incident right away. This past week even, 16 Year-old Kyle Johnson appeared on the 6:00p.m. Channel 3 News for rough housing that turned into an injury. The boy's picture and name was broadcasted all over the county. Now you have Champaign Police Chief R.T. Finney's son, a middle schooler caught three weeks ago selling and in possession of marijuana at Jefferson Middle School. School officials have already expelled the buyer and placed him in the juvenile detention center. Meanwhile, the Police Chief's son has not even been charged. The local news media feels that this is not news to the community. The News-Gazette, Channel 3 Television News, and WILL Focus 580 won't send a single news reporter out to cover this story about the Police Chief's son. This is bias coverage of our local schools and it is frustrating that these media outlets prefer to sensationalize african american misbehavior while ignoring the misdeeds of caucasions. The result of this media bias is the perception that African American youth are often causing trouble. The African American community is not ignorant or unaware that when it comes to african american youth messing up, local media prefers to glamorize and sensationalize these particular incidents. Why is that? Rather than have this current racial bias, perhaps all media outlets need to quit publishing the names and pictures in all juvenile cases. As it stands now, the African American Community continues to be portrayed in a negative manner.

Re: The Local Media Bias by

Re: The Local Media Bias by props 21 Sep 2006 Good investigative work Mr. Miller. You are truly an asset to the community. And it wasn't the million dollar SRO who made the bust. If the chief can't keep drugs out of his house, if the SROs can't sniff em out, what is the point of the whole war on drugs? As Peter Tosh pointed out, drug laws are just an excuse for the police to beat and abuse the black population. Shame on the mainstream media. Mr. Miller is the only one brave enough to out this story. Re: The Local Media Bias by karl roenfanz ( rosey ) k_rosey48 (nospam) hotmail.com (unverified) Current rating: 0 22 Sep 2006 involveing the police, do they not cover it because the police will then start to ticket them for even imagined violations? the political pull is strong. thats what happens in evansville , ind. Re: The Local Media Bias by th0rn 24 Sep 2006 Thanks for sharing this observation, and the details you expose. Racism, media bias, and corrupt politics are still very much the norm around CU. Such a cancer, that's holding back real positive progress for the entire community. I'm so glad that the UCIMC exists, to help shine the spotlight on these issues.

The media can legally print

The media can legally print or broadcast a teenager's name if they are charged as an adult by police. In many cases like the one at Centennial High School I believe that's what happened. The fault in many of these cases is on the part of the police for charging them as adults and releasing names. The boy involved in the Centennial fight was 17, not 16. Maybe you should get your own facts right before you rip into others.

police response to juvenile offenses; late comment

Regarding juvenile/adult crimes -- if someone is 17, he or she is no longer subject to juvenile law. If he or she is under 17, it is not the police department but the State's Attorney's Office that determines whether to charge them as adults or juveniles. The state is considering (or may have recently decided) a change such that 17-year-olds would also be considered "juveniles." I don't know the details of the marijuana case at Jefferson, but I do know that the school's discipline decisions (i.e. expulsion) are separate from those of the police (arrest), probation/court services (detention), and the prosecutor's office (charging and trying cases). Schools are not allowed to release information about their disciplinary decisions, so it's possible that Chief Finney's son did receive discipline at school that went unannounced (and thus possbily unavailable to Mr. Miller). It's also possible (and likely) that young Mr. Finney was placed on a Juvenile Station Adjustment through the Champaign Police Department, thus being diverted from juvenile court and detention.

Amother reader of the News-Gazette

When the Sheriff's son was in trouble- it was reported in the News-Gazette. Did you miss reading the paper that day?

awesome

That's awesome that Finney's kid is a pot head. The nut doesn't fall far from the tree. Finney should go back to North Carolina. Or Carbondale. Or anywhere not Champaign.

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