prof. e.

Mass Communication, [multi]media, methodology and much, much more!

Rushing to Judgement

Posted by prof e on March 28, 2012

This blog post is in no way intended to add to the current public debate about the guilt or innocence of either Trayvon Martin or George Zimmerman. The tragic shooting has become the center of a national dialogue about race (Martin is African-American and Zimmerman is Hispanic), violence, and media coverage of the same. While there has been little verifiable evidence about the tragic incident, there is no shortage of opinion about what happened on that night of February 26th.

What we do know is that the national media were slow to report the initial shooting. Only after African-American commentators, bloggers and radio talk show hosts took up the cause–and after social media amplified the discussion–did the mainstream media finally pay attention.

Photos of Martin and Zimmerman widely disseminated by the mainstream media have also led some to jump to conclusions. Newer photos of both are now being released. One can’t help but think that the images being presented are part of the process of making a case for either innocence or guilt of those portrayed. Either way it is easy to see how important first impressions can be when forming an opinion in the absence of hard facts.

Additional facts about Martin’s record of suspensions from school are also changing the nature of the debate. Some are claiming that these are irrelevant facts that are being intentionally leaked to the media with intent to destroy the reputation of the victim.

Even coverage of the media coverage has been controversial. The Daily Texan, a student newspaper from University of Texas at Austin, pulled a controversial editorial cartoon that was critical of the media’s coverage of the story.

One of the most important responsibilities of the media in a democratic society is to draw attention to misbehavior and to do so in an even-handed and unbiased way. Crime reporting is just one example. But so is investigative reporting of how police and other civil servants carry out their duty to administer justice. When public outcry about a possible miscarriage of justice by the local police reached a tipping point, the US Department of Justice was called in to investigate the Sanford police department.

Questions remain: Is justice being served by the attention being given to this story? Would justice have been served if a few African-American journalists had not gained the attention of the social media megaphone…which then led to the mainstream media paying attention? Can truth and justice prevail in what some are now calling a “media circus”?

 

UPDATE 3/30/12

PEW Research has released an interesting study comparing the way that Twitter, blogs, and cable TV and talk radio have covered the story.

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33 Responses to “Rushing to Judgement”

  1. Gregory Rice said

    Just thought I would comment and say that whether a reliable sorce or not, Yahoo has just reported that Zimmerman has been charged with second degree murder. He has been transferred to Seminole County Jail and being held without bail. I think this is the correct decision on the jury’s behalf because I truly believe he unjustly killed Trayvon Martin. I believe Zimmerman used racial profiling to suspect Martin and killed him because he is black.

  2. Jennifer Hackett said

    I don’t really know a whole lot about this case, but I don’t think anyone can really judge anything just by what radio talk show hosts say. I mean there could be racism in this case, but who is to really know. Zimmerman called the police and should have let them handle it because a life wouldn’t be lost if he did, but who is to judge him by saying he is racist. Zimmerman is Hispanic so he isn’t technically white and has color too. The recorded message from the police call that was made was edited and aired on the media to make it sound like he automatically said I think a black man and without the editing, he doesn’ t sound racist at all. I do believe he unjustly killed Martin and had no right because he if he wouldn’t have followed him then they wouldn’t have got into an argument. If someone was following me too I would be freaked out and ask what their problem was too or just run away. I think the media just kind of makes matters worse and help veer people’s attitudes towards a subject. For example, the two pictures first aired make Zimmerman look like a felon and Martin look like a sweet, innocent teen. The other two pictures is a reverse to the first two so I can see where people would be quick to judge Zimmerman with that picture.

  3. Z said

    The media turned this into a circus per usual, plastering misleading images in dubious contexts to suit whatever narrative angle they chose to explore in confounding and overly repetitive interview segments on any network one can name, and escalating the reactionary anguish throughout the news cycle to effect ratings no doubt. Nothing new here.

    It’s pretty clear that no matter the precise sequence of events, Zimmerman’s Cartmanesque (South Park) posturing put some level of threatening pressure on the kid, which brought the two to close proximity and undoubtedly caused some sort of quick-paced insult exchange and demonstration of male egoism. My guess is that Zimmerman started getting his a$$ handed to him by a likely very strong and energetic teenager. Zimmerman panicked like a little wuss and then blew the poor kid to hell.

    There is no such thing as justice. This is a tough concept for the deeply-indoctrinated mind to fathom, but what happened is real. What’s happening in court now is only about false piety and public spectacle. Sure, Zimmerman’s dumb @$$ might beat the case, or, he might end up doing a bid in jail, but reality won’t change. Zimmerman will live with the truth that his petty fears took the life of poor dumb teenager for nothing.

    http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=A2KJkK5tmIxPj0QAjT.JzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTBlMTQ4cGxyBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1n?back=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3Fp%3Dcartman%2Brespect%2Bmy%2Bauthority%26fr%3Dmoz35%26fr2%3Dpiv-web%26tab%3Dorganic%26ri%3D1&w=1600&h=1136&imgurl=images4.fanpop.com%2Fimage%2Fphotos%2F23600000%2FCartman-Respect-My-Authoritah-south-park-23629184-1600-1136.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fanpop.com%2Fspots%2Fsouth-park%2Fimages%2F23629184%2Ftitle%2Fcartman-respect-authoritah&size=191.6+KB&name=Cartman+-+Respect+My+Authoritah+-+South+Park+Photo+%2823629184%29+-+Fanpop&p=cartman+respect+my+authority&oid=14a456ecb3688eb35a6bb8f13ef3fc25&fr2=piv-web&fr=moz35&tt=Cartman%2B-%2BRespect%2BMy%2BAuthoritah%2B-%2BSouth%2BPark%2BPhoto%2B%252823629184%2529%2B-%2BFanpop&b=0&ni=21&no=1&tab=organic&ts=&sigr=12ni8qvee&sigb=13hf9j7vo&sigi=138ipcnqh&.crumb=SRo6EGcevdW

  4. Aubree Jo Miller said

    Of course, as much as we don’t want to believe that the media would do anything indecent, they are known for doing so. There in no way should have been any side choosing by the media, but of course they had their ways of twisting everything to get the best story they possibly could. Of course they put the worst possible picture they could find of Zimmerman, instead of using one of his many nicer looking pictures, and they chose the best picture they has of Trayvon. I am in no way saying that Zimmerman is innocent, becuase I believe in the exact opposite. However, before the media truly even had any of the hard facts they chose to spin the story in a certain way, the way that would make the most attention and cause the most outrage. Of course, it worked exactly the way they wanted it to. After seeing these pictures in the news and on the internet, the public was outraged and the immediate comments were all about how terriible Zimmerman was. As they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” The media knows that and that is why they chose the pictures that they did. The pictures alone make you automatically lean to one side, and that is in no way right.

  5. Bryan Horton said

    I think this case is interesting because of how the media has managed to sway things. First they made it a national story. Regardless of the the race of the reporter, the unjust incident needed to be heard. Also, the media found ways to make each person look a certain way. This with the pictures that were shown and with the edited call to 911. The media does what it can to make their news entertaining. Unfortunately, them doing this can sometimes cause someone to look bad, or to look a certain way before people know the true details of are presented with evidence. At the end of the day I think justice will be served. Someone who was unarmed got shot and from what I know there is no evidence that Trayvon did anything to provoke what happened. It’s sad that the media sometimes makes people look a certain way for their own benefit, but in this case I think it might save the day and may aid in bringing a guilty man to justice.

  6. Caitlin Norton said

    Whether or not someone is guilty or innocent of a crime, one cannot entirely make of their mind based solely on the facts given by the media. Clearly there has been some biased reporting going through and leads people that way. The entire Trayvon Martin case took weeks for the reporters to even view it as an important case. But when the thought of race or stereotyping could have been the main reason for the killing, then the story took frenzy everywhere. This is gaining the most coverage over other major news stories such as the 2012 Presidential Election. I do believe that George Zimmerman is guilty of killing a young man for no reason. But to rush to judgment to say that he is a racist based on a phone call that was changed for the news story is not a good idea. I do think he was stereotyping Martin and used that as his defense for why he had to “Stand Your Ground”, but he should have listened to the police instead of using his own judgment. The pictures that have been shown have also progressed people’s opinion over this case. The first set of pictures put Martin as a young innocent boy who was attacked and killed by a man whose picture makes him look as if that was his mug shot. The other set of pictures does the complete opposite. I think what this says is that you should not rush to complete judgment before you know the entire facts. As this case progresses and as the coverage over what happened increases, in time I think there will be accurate answers.

  7. Every state is different in their laws and while media has one objective; to find the truth, it does not always do so because of the laws that differ while reporting. Racism is something that in my mind is like a cut that has yet to have been healed but instead covered with a band aid. With the new outcry of justice that has come from within the media I feel that this case has become bias, misinterpreted, misinformed and like other cases has become unjust because of the subject of race. In class on Thursday we talked about the laws and ethics that correlate to freedom of press. In one way journalism is meant to keep the government in line but because of technology’s also seems to get in the way justice is played out in a case.

  8. Sasha Klepitskaya said

    This is obviously a tragic event which I believe has become such a controvercial topic due to the many small quirks and strange coincidences which are present in the case. I believe this sort of topic is important to be heard by the American people, and for it to raise awareness for the injustices that are happeneing in our country today. The fact that these types of murders must be stopped is an obvious fact, but the fact that the media which reports on these, and frankly all cases, is not balanced and unbiased in the way it presents the information is an issue which should be factored in my the consumers who view this media. For example, even the images which were first released depicted the two people involved in specific ways, aiming to convey certain emotions and ideas to the consumers of this media. I think its a difficult request to make of the journalists, creators, and publishers of this media to be bias free and even in their distribution of the information, stripping it down to nothing but the truth, because bias will come naturally like any other emotion, and in many cases, like the Zimmerman-Martin case, it will come with a lot of emotion. Because of this unavoidable bias which travels witht the information, its important to be aware of this and educate oneself from various outlets of media to get all the assortments of opinions, and then draw to a personal conclusion.

  9. Brandyn Moore said

    This has got me wondering what necessarily made this a race issue. I mean I understand that certain person have different views about the situation but is that the only thing people had to fall back on? It’s very enlightening how the news spread via social networking like Facebook and twitter but I feel this is an event that should have been surfaced from the very beginning. I’ve heard now that Zimmerman has been charged but that should have happened a long time ago. Zimmerman thought that he could protect himself with a law that pertained to self-defense, not knowing exactly what that law is I learned that he wasn’t actually able to hide behind that kind of defense. Social networks have become a booming source of ways to hear what others have to say and find out on the latest news and this is no different. In my opinion this is the only reason that this story has got some attention, I feel like people would have ignored this as much as they could if not people making it all about race. In my eyes justice has been served but it took way to long for it to happen.

  10. Marki Cook said

    There are a few issues I would like to touch on involving media and the “Rushing to Judgment” article. To begin with media is entertainment. Even when media in informative it is still focused on entertaining. If media weren’t entertaining then no one would be interested in watching. This is exactly why the news produces so many negative articles about murder, war and financial break downs and less about environmentalist success and volunteer stand outs. People are drawn to drama. “Boy Gets Shot do to Confusion by Security Guard.” Sounds like a sad deal but, the title says it all for the most part. It draws attention but, not much. “Black Boy is Shot by a Hispanic Guard do to Racial Issues.” Boom the story is a hit. As much as I hate to admit it racism will never go away because no one can LET IT GO! Who knows if this was a racial hate crime, maybe it was as simple as the title I stated before, “Boy Gets Shot do to Confusion by Security Guard.” Media takes the race issue and blows it up. Now the situation with main stream media not picking the story up right away steams form the drama issue I discussed previously. I believe the situation wasn’t juicy enough for main stream media until the people of the particular race began to raise chaos. At that point it was no longer an accident but, a murder with racial motivation. Do I agree what Zimmerman did was right or wrong, I’m not sure. I wasn’t there and I don’t know what the boy was really doing. I do believe he had to be up to something otherwise a gun would not have been used. I honestly don’t think someone who was put in the position Zimmerman was would be the type of person to wave his gun at just anyone. Did race have something to do with it, maybe but, up until the media blew it out of proportion I believe Zimmerman had a chance to tell his story. Media will never be a justice system. In fact media may be just another accuser with large influence that may ruin the lives of many innocent people. I don’t believe justice was truly served because I don’t feel the two parties had an equal playing field, media created Zimmerman’s image not Zimmerman.

  11. krysti fillmore said

    Rushing to judgment over someone because of racism. I feel like the media in this case put a spin on it to turn it into a thing about one color against another. They used pictured to their advantage on showing that the shooter looked bad sad not a good one that victim is a child and happy. I think the media will change storys all the time to make it have more of a uprising to interest readers and people in general.

  12. Parker Bickel said

    This is what America has become accustomed to now a days. What does the media do better than make the bad guy (Zimmerman) look more bad and the victim (Martin) look more Innocent? This has been in practice for years and years because it is what the general U.S. public wants to see, we want the villain to look as guilty as possible in any situation. Another reason things like this happen are because the race card is pulled right in the beginning of the story. This story wouldn’t be as big as it is now if Martin wasn’t an African American and if Zimmerman was Caucasian.

  13. Ravyn Tanner said

    I’ve heard many things about the Martin case, all from each different point of view. I’m not really updated on the entire situation but from what I know, the media has done it’s job. I’m not to sure which side I choose, but I know that every little detail needs to be taken into consideration. Like mentioned in some previous comments, the media did a good job when picking the photos for each the victim and the defendant. I think what it all really comes down to is the stereotypes this world has set for each race. Martin’s mother said something along the lines of “it was a terrible accident.” I don’t believe Zimmerman went to work that day with a goal of going to shooting an African American child. Just like Martin I don’t believe Martin woke up that day intending to (supposedly) attacking his neighbor hood watch officer. I believe it shows a lot of character for Zimmerman to apologize to Martin’s mother. It’s also crazy to think things like this probably happen weekly, but because of the “race” card was played, it made the news everywhere. It is a very sad story, and it’s a terrible situation, but in reality this story wouldn’t have been made national news if race wasn’t taken in to matter. Like I said before, the media did a good job when choosing which pictures they would use for the world to see the both the victim or the defendant. Both of the pictures are not up to date, and a picture is just a picture, it doesn’t say anything about what a person really is. “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

  14. cassie crutchfield said

    I don’t believe this incident was caused due to racial profiling as much of the media would like its audience to believe. This was a terribly sad case but unfortunately in America people are murdered every day. The reason this particular case got brought to the main stream media is because of the controversy over race. By showing pictures of Trayvon Martin as an innocent child and George Zimmerman in a mug shot-like photo this just fed into the story to make it appear more heart wrenching and therefore more interesting to the audience. The one good thing that has come from this story is that light as now been shed on Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground Law’ which is similar to Colorado’s ‘Make My Day’ Law except for the person you feel threatened by does not have to be intruding onto your house or property. By seeing the effects this law can potentially have is the only good and just thing that can possibly come out of this so called “Media Circus.”

  15. Desarey B. said

    I hate the fact that it took so long for this story to get the attention it deserved. The parents of Travyon Martin had to suffer for months before any proper actions were taken. It should have not took so much controversy from “African American” media outlets in order to get any attention about what had happened. It’s sad how the media seems like it didn’t want to be blamed for not giving this story the attention that it needed. The first pictures they put out does make Zimmerman look like a convict that he has been locked up numerous times and has record of criminal activity. While Trayvon’s picture makes him look like any run of the mill seventeen year old boy. While the second makes Zimmerman look like he is extremely prominante in his community, he’s highly respected and has made a name for himself and Trayvon’s looks like he showing off gold fronts or something like he’s one of those wanna be thugs that take pictures all day, have golds, they may even try to correlate drugs with the gold teeth seeing that a lot of drug dealers have them. It is also unfair to me that information that has nothing to do directly with incident is brought to the table, such as the fact that Trayvon was suspended from school, these days school systems are so touchy, students can get suspended for anything even being in the wrong place at the wrong time and not being direct apart of the problem, so which was Trayvon accused of and and why is there no info of what he was suspended for. Media is so persuasive and those two pictures along of both the victim and Zimmerman can make people believe, persuaded a million ways and have predetermined mind sets about both parties. This allows people to pick their protagonist and antagonist, without having to have facts to back it up.

  16. Aaron 130 Gonzales said

    Racial or nonracial, it was still a crime. Unfortunately the media got a hold and automatically gave it an unsubtle reason of racism. Racism will always cause a muster of emotions and stir an unsteady concoction of argument. The images brought emotions equal to that that they present. Zimmerman looks like a criminal, Martin looks like an innocent child. Of course people will feel for the kid. No one knows what actually happened. The media used images that would identify them according to what the media wants. Any situation for this case would need a separate pair of pictures to identify the individuals with the persona the media is giving them.

  17. Mark P said

    When it comes to news such as this i believe that what the alternate media let the main media know about what happend. If we were to never know what happend then a criminal would of gotten off the hook without anyone knowing what he did. What’s been going on in the social media is a bunch of bologna i believe. Showing pictures of the victim and trying to get sympathy is just wrong. yes its sad that he was a young man that was killed for a possible racial case but doesnt mean you have to show thousands of pictures of him. We dont know what happend that night whether there was any kind of provacation or actualy fighting but what Zimmerman did was not the answer to what ever it was. But the media likes to milk out sad stories like this for ratings and to see if we fall for it even if the case was years ago. They dont care about the people involved, they only care that they get the people watching those people who are suffering.

  18. melissa said

    I have followed this case for the most part. I frequently watch MSNBC and Al Sharpton devoted a good amount of his show to this story. So I saw the different aspects of how the media choose to cover it and what facts to play up. This case shows how important media coverage and bringing stories to the people can be. But also how bias the media can make a story especially when no one has been convicted of a crime. Whether or not George Zimmerman gets convicted he has already been found guilty in public opinion and his life is forever changed. I am in no way feeling compassion for Zimmerman but the media has to know how its power can swing both ways.

  19. Lindsey Marmolejo said

    I thought this case was particularly interesting because of the way the media handled it. It was at first just an “average local” crime, but then when they put it on the national level it really stood out and became more of a discrimination crime based on the ethnic backgrounds of both the victim and the antagonist. The media really chose to play more on the discrimination of the crime rather than the facts of the crime itself, and so that is the angle most readers and listeners began to take as well. With the way the media is pushing the story I don’t know if justice will be served in the right light because of all the different angles Zimmerman will be judged and not simply by the crime itself regardless of race.

  20. Eugene Lucero said

    I really didn’t pay to much attention to this case. I seen from the beginning that this whole trial and articles was going to be a huge race deal. I would not be surprised if this leads to a huge race war. From the little I have seen about this case I have noticed that Zimmerman is being accused for seeing a young black kid, following him, and then shooting him for no apparent reason. This is really bad for Zimmerman because if he doesn’t get convicted of murder, he will still be seen as the guy that shot a young black kid for no reason. His life has changed drastically no matter what the outcome is.

  21. Caitlyn Hollifield said

    I think the way the media portrayed this whole ordeal was wrong. It did not have to show younger pictures of Zimmerman or Martin. By doing this the media sparked racial controversy. Though all of this did take place the people involved in the case, judge, jurors, and attorneys and so on should not let these pictures affect them. This should be for all cases. What the media portrays people or what they said should not be allowed to influence people’s views within the courtroom.

  22. kginter5 said

    Pictures can say so much and the first pictures they chose to use of the victim and Zimmerman basically made Trayvon look like a thug and made Zimmerman look like a respectable, classy man. This is almost like a cover up to get people reading to side with Zimmerman because of the issue that had occurred. Once this case blew out and the facts started surfacing the pictures used for both of them completely changed. They made Trayvon look like an innocent young kid and made Zimmerman actually look like a criminal. Just by looking at the pictures it shows who the media thinks is wrong because they chose images that portray them in the way they want people to think. When it comes to race crimes it is always a touchy subject given our history of this country so the media has to be very careful in how they decide to cover stories such as this.

  23. Sara Chavez said

    I believe that this case is getting far too much press. Things like this happen all the time, but because someone decided to say Zimmerman shot him out of racism, it is catching everyone’s attention. It’s no doubtingly a sad event, however, there is no need for it to be as public as it is. Zimmerman made the mistake of shooting a young man, but was it because he was black? Probably not. The media likes to jump to conclusions, or make the bad guy look even worse. It just makes for a better story and something to publish. Obviously, from the pictures above, you can see that the media choose very drastic photos. The first photo of Zimmerman makes him look a little rough and tough, kind of like a criminal. The second photo of him, however, looks very professional and well put together. Of course they would publish a not so good photo of Zimmerman, so that it is more believable that he is racist. I dont think that media should be allowed to be so involved in criminal cases, because false things come up and it just makes for a harder conclusion.The media is making this case into something it may not be.

  24. Sam Haseltine said

    I believe that this case should be left out of the media and left in the room. Many of the outisde opinions of the public has caused much conrtoversy over the case, effecting how many others perceive the tragic shooting of treyvon. I believe putting into account treyvon’s suspension records from high school are just causing people to give reason to Zimmermarn’s shooting. This could also be seen as a conrtoversy in which racism is involved. Bringing allegations towards the young treyvon due to school incidences is wrong and does not make his death justifiable by any means. I feel that the media has blown it out of proportion and should not be as deeply involved as it is. The media should also present strict fact without opinion if any information is going to be presented to teh public. By adding in their own personal bias, the media can cause skewed percepetions and change the opinions of those that were not harmful in the first place but transformed into something much worse, thanks to the media.

  25. Emily Nicolopoulos said

    I believe Zimmerman used racial profiling to suspect Martin and killed him because he is black. Though I don’t think anyone will ever know the real truth of what happened on that night which is very upsetting for a lot of people, especially Martin’s family and friends.

  26. Troy Fields said

    I feel that race is a huge part in this case whether people want to admit it or not and the fact that it took so long to charge him with the murder is shocking to me. The longer the case drags on I feel that it will lessen the severity of what happened. Due to the history of Florida’s justice system with the Casey Anthony trial who knows what will be the outcome.This was clearly another case of racial profiling of an innocent person who was African American and if George Zimmerman gets away with it will be a miscarriage of justice.

  27. Gerald Seawright said

    I feel as though the media is just turning this into a spectacle and are actually hindering the justice process. In the United States there are nearly 40 or more murders committed everyday so what makes this one so special. I believe that because of the media attention a lot of this story has become stretched and changed so that it becomes a public spectacle. Just a few biased word changes can manipulate how the public views a story. I feel that the public outcry and all the opinions being formed about the case will actually affect the case and will hinder the whole process. How is the public supposed to form these except based on how the media portrays both the victim and the defendant. I know I have never met either individual and I was not a witness to what happened so how am I able to make an informed opinion on what happened.

  28. Alexandra Veksler said

    The whole point of news media is to entertain people. I believe that they are blowing everything out of proportion in order to make a better story. Perhaps this case was due to racism, perhaps not. I have no way of knowing what was going through his mind, however what I do know is that the media tends to sensationalize any minor detail. This story is no different than most crimes that happen every day. I wonder what the verdict would have been if media did not get involved. Although media over exaggerates stories, I cannot really blame them. These times are really rough for news media and they have to stay afloat somehow. The sensationalization of news in media has always been happening (yellow journalism) and we cannot expect them to stop now. Society just needs to be aware that this is something that happens and try to decide what is true for themselves.

  29. Sheree Haggan said

    I think whenever race or even sexual orientation is involved, we always are extremely analytical. If a person is killed who is gay- it is investigated as a hate crime first. If a white person kills a black person, it must be racism. With this case I wonder if all the hype about race is just to draw more attention. The journalists that happen to be African-American and covered this case are largely responsible for it drawing more attention. When the people care about something, the media cares too. It’s a business. I think that the African-American people who covered the case may have had some prejudice when reporting on the case because we as people are naturally more inclined to help “our own kind”. Being black myself, there are times that I find myself favoring blacks-unintentionally and I have to remind myself that people are people and need to be treated equally regardless of what race they are. In this case, truth and justice can still prevail. It’s just when race is involved people always struggle with it, even though it really is such a minor factor. Unless it was racism. But in this case it’s very hard to prove. It involved two very discriminated against races. I think it was all just blown out of proportion.

  30. Brittany Gutierrez said

    The amazing thing about anything that happens in the world now compared to the past is that once it is publicly on any social media it is latched onto. This case alone grabbed attention of celebrities and had them tweeting #JusticeforTrayvon. I don’t know a lot about this case besides what everyone on the Trayvon side were saying, but it seems like the racism part was the main attention and could it have been different if the races were different. The media seemed more focused on the race of these 2 people than anything else of this story. It comes down to truth and justice will never prevail in a media circus like this case because nobody will be satisfied. If Zimmerman gets off not guilty than it will upset people who are on the side of Trayvon. If he is guilty, those who support him will be upset and they may believe he was only said to be guilty to satisfy those who made this case so big.

  31. Taylor Fox said

    The Zimmerman case is still remembered and discussed about even though it happened late winter of this year. But is it still getting enough attention from the media, the kind of attention it needs to get decent recognition and justice? Zimmerman is presently charged with second degree murder in the death of a 17-year old African-American, Trayvon Martin.
    When the story first exploded in the media, it was all people heard about. It received much attention for weeks, even months. The issue of racist hatred was presented. The media speculated that Zimmerman killed Trayvon as an act of racial profiling. The media used ‘mass media framing’ bringing in controversial topics that instigated heated debates and frenzied arguments. I believe the media presented issues that it wanted the public to see as reality. The influence the media had on this story was almost overwhelming. It forced people to actually believe Trayvon was killed because he was African-American. Even if that was the case, the public almost had no other choice but to believe that to be the reason because of the way the media put forth the controversial story.
    I am glad to see the media was able to give the case attention, however I do believe it affected people’s perception of the tragic situation. Every murder case should be handled in the courtroom. All evidence and facts should be taken in fairly. The state is still providing evidence and hard facts in the case, and I hope justice will prevail in the correct manor.

  32. DeSean Verdine said

    It’s crazy to see this blog knowing that the tragic situation had happen almost a whole year ago. The media played such a big role in this case. The case almost went to the waste side until journalist and blogger went haywire trying to give this case some more understanding. News channels and website showing different aspect of this case crossing images of both victim and suspect to show bias on both sides. The wildest thing about the case is how it has been forgotten in society (African-Americans included). I wonder if I took to twitter and created a trend #Whathappentotreyvon would this bring back the same controversy it did a year ago

  33. Aimee Harmon said

    I feel like the media is priming us culturally to act in a certain way. Turow describes it is the affect that media has we as the individuals’ abilities to evaluate what we hear and see in the media. I think major news reporters are too quick to take violent crimes that involve a minority race as the victim. The shooting of Trayvon Martin made national news, and was an extremely eye opening experience to everyone. Was this a race based crime? Do prejudices against African Americans still exist? But where were the national headlines that talked about the innocent white man, David Bouthillier, who was shot to death by a black man, Troy Sirmons, based completely on race. In fact, it was stated that Sirmons even yelled racist remarks about David’s white ethnicity before shooting him to death. How different would this case be if Zimmerman were African American, and Trayvon was of a white ethnicity? I am in no way racist, and in no way believe that either Trayvon or David or any other murder victim had a “lesser” death, but I do feel like journalists are priming us to be conscious of certain cases that involve certain races.

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