August 29, 2005

We have photo of suspect ... but we won't show it

AJ Lynch notes how the Philadelphia Inquirer has a headline "Police release name and photograph of rape suspect," but ... they forgot to include the photo! Or, did they?

I e-mailed Hube and he seemed to recall -- possibly in one of Bernie Goldberg's books (Bias and Arrogance) -- where a group that included a set number of black reporters/editors had a sort of "veto power" at the Inquirer ... whether certain stories or aspects of stories would see print. I did some searching online and essentially found confirmation of this here. In an essay devoted to political correctness, it says

... the "Philadelphia Inquirer" established a body of 15 members (3 of whom had to be black journalists), whose task was to censor commentaries to be published. The "Philadelphia Inquirer" also introduced the so called "pluralistic plan" to prevent any race and gender discrimination. 50 % of new employees have to belong to "ethnic minorities" and at the same time half of the newcomers must be female.

So, did the Inquirer omit the photo because the suspect is ... black?

There is, of course, no certainty that the suspect -- Anthony "Boo" Jennings -- is African-American based on the present article. But if the information in William McGowan's best-selling Coloring the News is accurate, this would be the best guess as to why the newspaper would state that a rape suspect (along with robbery, burglary and related offenses) had been ID'd -- with a photo -- and then not show the photo to the public.

John Bloom explains why.

Posted by Rhodey at August 29, 2005 04:04 PM | TrackBack

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