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Pet Sins July 2006

Privacy of black and white minors in crime news

Sometime back, the local news in my city broadcast two strikingly similar stories in the same new program - in both cases, a female minor met an older man online who persuaded her to run off with him, but fortunately, police caught up with them.

In the first case, the minor was white. The news did not show her picture though they did interview her mother. In the second case, the minor was black. Her picture was on the news. That seemed hardly necessary as she had already been found by police. I was surprised because I thought the privacy of crime victims, particularly minors, was to be respected. Not the first time that the media had broken its own rules when it comes to respecting the privacy of black minors.

The only significant differences in the two stories was that in the case of the white girl, the girl was from in-state, while in the case of the black girl, she was from out-of-state though the police found her in our state. The black girl was I think a couple of years or so older than the white girl, but still definitely not anywhere near 18.