When we began #The Ferguson Project Four, I don’t think any of us fully realized the implications of Ferguson, and the outrage to come from cities all around the country. As the Media Stakeholder, as well as a concerned citizen, I have been fervently following the news coverage of Ferguson, prior to the shooting, of the shooting, after the shooting, and now after the trial results have finally been announced. I hope that if we keep talking, keep fighting, keep spreading the word, our voices will be so loud that America will not continue to ignore race. This is so much more than about one shooting in Ferguson.
I’ve been struggling with the format of Twitter because there is so much more to say than in 140 characters, and even a blog post can’t do Ferguson justice. My hope for this blog and Twitter account is that we can encourage others to join the discussion and ask questions along with us as we attempt to create a full picture of #Ferguson.
I’ve also struggled because media always aims to remain objective–but it is exactly in this polarized situation where objectivity becomes extremely difficult to achieve. I often felt I had to censor my opinions as I wanted to be more critical of the media. So, I plan on using the blog as a platform for the opinions, thoughts, and reflections that do not fit within the realm of Twitter.
Alan Krawitz of Media Bistro gives the media coverage of the Ferguson shooting a grade of C to C-, critiquing “…coverage that I thought was uneven, at best, with some national reporters even crossing journalistic lines to become advocates, rather than unbiased, objective third-parties.” However, who decides where this line is. At what point is it unethical for journalists to remain “unbiased”? And when does something become “sensationalism,” rather than outrage over the truth? However, media does still play a huge role in helping to expose the racial divides in the U.S., and without the media (and citizen journalists using Twitter or other blogs), I don’t think the #Ferguson protests that occurred yesterday and today would have been possible.
What do you think of the media coverage of #Ferguson? What role should the media play?