News outlets should “defund the crime beat” to fight racism, according to Nieman Journalism Lab, a leftist think tank which tells journos what to do.
"This should be the year where we finally abolish the crime beat…study after study shows that it’s racist and inhumane."
— Kayla Epstein 📰 (@KaylaEpstein) December 16, 2020
Let’s be honest: Crime coverage is terrible.
It’s racist, classist, fear-based clickbait masking as journalism. It creates lasting harm for the communities that newsrooms are supposed to serve. And because it so rarely meets the public’s needs, it’s almost never newsworthy, despite what Grizzled Gary in his coffee-stained shirt says from his perch at the copy desk.
This should be the year where we finally abolish the crime beat. Study after study shows how the media’s overemphasis on crime makes people feel less safe than they really are and negatively shapes public policy around the criminal–legal system. And study after study shows that it’s racist and inhumane.
While crime coverage fails to serve the public, it does serve three powerful constituencies: white supremacy, law enforcement, and newsrooms — specifically a newsroom’s bottom line.
Indeed, it doesn’t serve the public to have them knowing what’s going on around them.
Police said the man stabbed the mother of his child in her eyes, and threw their 1-year-old baby out of a window. The mother is not expected to see again, and the child is suffering from traumatic brain injuries. https://t.co/7pIZwgUr1U
— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) December 15, 2020
HORRIBLE: Kivi J. Ellis, 26, is charged with 2 counts of homicide and 1 count of attempted homicide. Police say he fatally shot a woman multiple times and a 3-month-old baby in the head. https://t.co/QZ3oQ3ywgn
— FOX 35 Orlando (@fox35orlando) December 5, 2020
San Francisco Chief of Police William Scott announced earlier this year he was going to ban publishing most perps mug shots because “research” suggests they create an “illusory correlation” associating “black and brown men” with criminal behavior.
Gannett and other media conglomerates also announced they were going to stop publishing mug shots for the same reason.
What the public desperately needs is more cutting-edge journalism about how everything is racist!
Thank you, Nieman Journalism Lab!