Most African Americans don’t feel that stories reported in the news about missing persons gain the same media exposure as those when the missing are not considered black people. In fact, most African Americans seem to think that the media is not really interested in reporting missing cases about African Americans.
I recently, received a request to report a story on a child that was missing and had strong ties to President Clinton’s family. Taken from ireport.com; the headline reads:
Bill Clinton’s former housekeeper’s daughter missing. Yet child still can’t make it on national news.
I reviewed the story closely and discovered many factors why the media may not be covering this report. The missing female is named Jeffery Lynn Smith and she has been reported missing since 1985 and it was stated that she was 15 years old when she went missing. Today that would make her approximately 38 years old.
The family has made several attempts to get Jeffery Lynn’s story covered in national media headlines focusing on the relationship with the Clinton family and the storyline of a missing black child. The following information is reported in Jeffery Lynn’s story:
In the almost 23 years that Jeffery Lynn Smith has been missing, in spite of the fact of her family’s intertwined history with the Clinton family, that her mother and grandmother are former house keepers of the family, and the fact that she was named after Bill Clinton’s step father Jeff Dwire, her case has received national attention not even once, and very little local attention.
I feel that the main reason Jeffery Lynn’s story is not getting media attention is because the focus is calling attention to a missing child oppose to the 38 year old woman she is today. Additionally, there are no aged images of what Jeffery Lynn would look like today. We know nothing about what her interest were, hobbies, etc. These things could tell a media story of what profession she would most likely select, activities and events she would likely participate in, etc.
If you want to receive media attention you have to understand how to capture media audiences and effectively tell a good story. However, African Americans cite that the media is not interested and this could also influence the police force when looking for missing African Americans.
A report in BlackVoices.com spotlights the media is desperately needed to help profile black missing persons.
From BlackVoices.com report: Black and Missing – Our People Matter Too
Romona Moore an African American young girl went missing and was repeatedly raped and tortured by two young psychopaths who eventually beat her to death on the day that the police grudgingly started searching for her. Her family’s amateur investigation found her before the police did.
Less than two months before Romona Moore vanished in Canarsie, Svetlana Aronov, the white wife of a doctor, went missing on the Upper East Side.
The day after Aronov vanished, police launched a massive search for her and the cocker spaniel, Bim, she had taken for a walk.
The NYPD called a press conference, assigned two dozen detectives to the case full-time, and went door to door, passing out flyers with pictures of Aronov and Bim on them. The cops traced the Aronovs’ phone and bank records and analyzed surveillance tape gathered from stores and apartment buildings near her home.
Is the media equally reporting black missing person cases?