Not to deny that the Davis murder was a gripping story: a pretty, pregnant woman missing, her young son left alone for 30 hours, her cop-boyfriend under suspicion.
But as I pondered this, I wondered how her race, her prettiness, her age, and her social status influenced how much media coverage this was getting. What about all the other terrible murders that have occurred in our area? Why does Jessie Davis’ murder receive full coverage on Larry King Live while all the other terrible murders are left unreported?
Then, I learned about Missing White Woman Syndrome (MWWS). Something that has now become such a part of our media that it now has its own entry on Wikipedia.
"Missing white woman syndrome (MWWS), also known as missing pretty girl syndrome, is a term used to describe alleged disproportionate media coverage of white female victims. The individual may be missing, murdered, captured, or even have faked her own abduction; the essential element of the syndrome is that her gender, race, prettiness, age, or social background is alleged to have extended the media coverage and public interest in her case.
There is more interest among Western cultures in news coverage regarding missing or murdered white women and girls, especially blondes, while cases involving missing men, non-caucasian women, older or unattractive caucasian women, or other news stories receive disproportionately less airtime. Reporting of these "missing white woman" stories may last for weeks or months and displace reporting on other current events. However, it has been most prevalent in U.S. media, particularly on 24-hour cable news channels."
– Ahhhh. It makes sense now.
There’s something dreadfully wrong with us when we care more about certain types of people than we do for others. Justice is needed for all peoples, no matter their gender, race, or social status.
technorati: social action