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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Re: Prince George's: Latest county murder ignored by news media

(Posted 18 Apr 2007; homicide ummary & statistics)

It the last month the county murder rate has skyrocketed back to record levels. We've seen a completely innocent woman killed by a stray bullet in a good neighborhood; a well-known musician killed in his apartment in an established middle-class area; two people shot in their car just four blocks away; a man shot in a busy park full of children; a man shot during a robbery while waiting for a bus; earlier a teenager was killed walking home from the Metro--something that has happened several times during the years I've been tracking murders in the county. I could go on for hours.

What can we do? We have gun control laws that protect the killers--they have guns, but we can't fight back.

Politicians and police tell us not to resist criminals, but those same politicians and police are doing little, if anything effective to protect us.

When violent criminals are caught, victims and witnesses are refusing to testify. When they do, appellate judges throw out many of the convictions.

The criminals are winning!

In many communities around the country, far fewer murders would have the local press out for blood and calling for the heads of the politicians and police chief. Not around here.

What are the rest of us supposed to do? Give up and let the criminals kill and rob at will? Move to someplace safer?

Any better suggestions out there?

On 4/18/07, Jacob Andoh <jyandoh@yahoo.com> wrote:
dcrussell wrote: "Randy Brooking, 27, murdered Monday night, and nobody cares!"
Me (JA): "Wrong. Some of us (maybe more than you know) do care." I am sure that our Police and other officials do care also (of course) - though more emphasis and focus needs to be placed on this local issue.
As best I can tell, NONE of our local media have bothered to report this killing.
That is true – and it is quite a shame.
Have our murders become so commonplace that they are not newsworthy?
It does appear to be so, does it not? The day that all of us or most county residents go up in arms (no pun intended) over our home-grown murders, that will be the day that change starts to come to quell and reduce our rising and unacceptable but rarely-reported-on-but-frightening and almost-complacently-forgotten in-county homicides and other violent crimes!
Or did the "local" media decide that the non-local VA Tech murders were so infinitely more newsworthy that they could not find a few moments or a bit of ink to report a local murder?
As is often said by many, with TV and the news media, "if it bleeds, it leads" and if it bleeds a whole lot more, it preempts all other coverage. As a nation, we appear to have a fascination with blood and gore that is perplexing. Having said that, the savage massacres at Virginia Tech have deeply shocked all of us.
Let us continue to pray for peace and solace for the families and work for justice – and a just society for all).
Over the past few years many journalists have whined about dropping circulation or viewers and how awful it is that people are turning to the Internet for news and ignoring "real: journalists.
Perhaps that is because "real" journalists are not reporting all the news, and have lost their sense of what the public needs from responsible journalism.
In any case, I certainly feel poorly served by our local news media.
As much as the facts appear to buttress your points, it is also the case that the local (and national) news media, like many more of our market-and-profit-based institutions, cater to the populace - or the population segments that pay attention to what they produce, print and air so that they can be marketed to (via umpteen commercials, infomercials, and advertisements).
Perhaps if we turned off the tube much of the time and truly supported news outlets, newspapers, etc. which truly cover what is important to our communities - and we patronized them instead of the blood and gore news outlets – things could change for the better?
Let us continue to pray for peace and solace for the families of all murder victims including the tragedy at VT - and work for justice and a just society for all - at home and abroad).
These are just my two pesos' worth of thoughts on the matter.
Thanks for raising this issue - and for your ongoing work cataloguing and sharing news of our local crime occurrences.

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate your keeping such good statistics and details. Have you found any patterns that can help us all (not just the police since we all can do things to improve the county)? I asked the police officer tonight at my civic association meeting how we can prevent more of these crimes. He wouldn't give me an "official police statement" but just his "opinion from over 20 yrs. experience" which was that owning one's home is the answer and not having rental units in the neighborhood. Do you see any truth to that?