Thursday, August 17, 2006

Missing White Woman Syndrome

    From Wikipedia, Missing White Woman Syndrome.

Missing white woman syndrome, also known as missing pretty girl syndrome, is a tongue-in-cheek term coined by some media critics to reference a form of media hype in which excessive news coverage is devoted to a specific missing white woman or girl, while virtually ignoring missing men, non-white women, or other news stories. According to these critics, reporting of these stories often lasts for several days or weeks, sometimes even months, and displaces reporting on other current events that some people consider more newsworthy, such as economics and politics. This syndrome appears to be most prevalent in U.S. media, but famous examples can also be found elsewhere in the world, e. g. the United Kingdom

    I'm tired today, and the commentary pretty much writes itself.


SH said...

Yeah, it's incredible how stories like this overshadow everything else in the world in the mainstream media. Of course, one argument goes "It's not media's fault. This is what people want to watch - sensations." Is it like a chicken and egg problem? Does media prefer stories like that to the real news because their corporate sponsors would rather people be consumed by things that have very little significance in the world? Or is it just human biology to be more consumed by sex, murders and fear in general than by some "abstract" things like world events?

vjack said...

Just think how much better informed the American public would be if our media covered actual news. Then again, our fellow citizens would probably just change the channel and watch American Idol.

Delta said...

I think it's true that the average person would rather watch stories about sex, murder, and fear than more abstract things. But many of the world events are not that abstract, and many of the really important things are murder on a large scale. People would be more interested in them if the media didn't report on them the way they do. They will go through a lot of trouble putting together music and videos of this little girl when she dies, but if 20 people die in Lebanon they report it as a statistic. ".....20 people died in the fighting". It's just a faceless number, not an actual human being.

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