January 01, 2008

Contrast and compare

News Journal report of a 17 year-old boy's stabbing yesterday:

A 17-year-old Wilmington boy remained hospitalized today following a weekend stabbing that left him in critical condition.

Wilmington police spokesman Master Sgt. Steven Barnes said the incident occurred about 10:50 p.m. Saturday in the area of 25th and West streets, where the victim was approached by three assailants in dark clothing.

The victim told officers that one of the assailants hit him in the head with some type of object and knocked him to the ground.

The other two men then took off his jacket and pants. During the robbery, the teenager was stabbed, Barnes said. The victim was rushed to Christiana Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery. He was reported in critical condition today, Barnes said.

WDEL.com's online report of the very same incident:

Wilmington police are looking for three suspects in connection with a weekend stabbing that left a 17-year-old boy critically injured. Officers found the victim in the 300 block of West 25th Street Saturday night with multiple stab wounds to the upper body.

He said the suspects attacked him as he walked near 25th and West, one suspect hitting him in the head and knocking him to the ground and the other two taking off his jacket and pants.

The victim was stabbed at some point during the attack, and had to have emergency surgery at Christiana Hospital.

The suspects are described only as black men wearing dark clothing, and anyone with information can call Wilmington detectives or 9-1-1.

Now you tell me: Which news outlet is providing the better public service?

Posted by Hube at January 1, 2008 03:38 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

It just hit me: There was a similar situation back in the 80s with AIDS deaths. Given the stigma attached to AIDS, newspapers stopped listing a cause of death in an obituary for those who died of AIDS-related illnesses. People quickly realized that any obituary without a cause of death meant a AIDS-related death.

Any time the News-Journal fails to list the race of a suspect, people are going to assume the suspect is black, so are they really reducing racism by this act or increasing it?

Apparently, most newspapers stopped listing causes of death due to the connection noted above. Will the News Journal eventually stop listing race for all suspects?

Posted by: Paul Smith at January 3, 2008 02:18 PM

Paul: Excellent call on the comparison!

Posted by: Hube at January 3, 2008 07:17 PM