Northland’s News Center? (the MLK version)

Actual Screen Shot of "black male" story from NNC story 9 am Today

Came here to post on this but I see dlhmn beat me to it with a comment on my earlier post Northland’s “News” Center?

DLHmn: Way to perpetuate stereotypes as if the victim’s race had something to do with him getting stabbed. And just in time for Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Comments are closed and many have been deleted. Someone made a mistake, she apologized sincerely and with integrity (below) and my interest in the matter has ended. I was inclined to just let all the comments go, because I love America, the constitution and freedom of speech. Plus, I found much of the discussion interesting, but it started to get too personal and even vulgar in some cases. And no I don’t mean you, Danny that is one of my favorite pieces of video, ever, anywhere, but I’m not sure how the reporter feels about it and I have decided that she’s taken enough hits for one day so … it’s gone. Please note that my intention in goal tending here is to avoid hurt feelings, not create them … and to avoid exposing PDD (and me) to a libel/defamation of character suit while I’m at it. So comments are closed. Ouch. I hope the tone that moved me to make this decision doesn’t spell a new trend for PDD. But that is a matter for another post.


JP Rennquist aka wildgoose



about 14 years ago

Further observations:

The victim's race is not in the police press release:

And, no one else reported the victim's race:

And, curiously, it's not even mentioned in the text of Northland News Center's story - though for some reason, someone decided to feature it prominently in the headline.

Barrett Chase

about 14 years ago

I was just going to make a similar post. You have to wonder if this headline was written by someone who was asleep on the first day of J-school, or if this is officially sanctioned. One hopes it's the former. 

Since when is it policy (or even relevant) to provide any description of the victims of crime? There simply must be either flat-out ignorance or an agenda behind it. Once again, one hopes it's the former.

Barrett Chase

about 14 years ago

I see now that the headline has been changed. That was what seriously raised my eyebrows: It was up for so long. Normally, when someone makes a dumb mistake (and this is a really dumb mistake) it comes down fairly quickly. This was up for almost 12 hours.


about 14 years ago

I'd like to personally apologize for posting that offensive headline. Not only was it unnecessary to the meaning of the story, but it was insensitive to have appeared on MLK day. It was careless writing that in the rush of gathering details and laying down a headline, I forgot the power of the words we use and how they can so greatly change the context of a story for the better... or in this case the worse. Highlighting the victim's race only perpetuated stereotypes that we certainly are trying to shed. Afterall, his race didn't have anything to do with why he was a victim, no more than if the victim in any story is related to any sort sexual orientation or religious affiliation. It was no more necessary than if I had found it important to specify that a white man was stabbed. That would have sounded silly and unneccesary. Mentioning the victim's race would have been an irrelevent detail that only would stand to stir controversy. I don't want to be a part of creating disunity or perpetuating stereotypes in this community or any other. I am sorry for my offensive writing. I should have read it more carefully before posting the story. It won't happen again. However, let's all take this as a perfect lesson that as far as we have all succeeded in becoming more accepting of diversity, changing stereotypes, and shifting our thinking... we still have a long way to go. Much of the language that we use still has deep-rooted pain attached to it and hurtful connotations. We're all so used to reading it, seeing it, and hearing it, that if we're not careful we become breeders of it without even realizing it. Honestly, I'm glad this happened because it can serve for all of us as a poignant example of the power of words, the growth has taken place in our community that people recognize the danger of using sensitive wording like that and won't tolerate it, the room for improvement in all of our lives, and the ability to see when and where we all fall short. Thank you for reminding me of that. Apologies, Julie "Jitterbug" Pearce


about 14 years ago

Accepted. Thank you. I respect and appreciate your integrity.

For everyone else:  I have a personal relationship with Jitterbug, and as soon as I found out who made the error I knew that a thoughtful apology would be coming soon.  And this fits the bill perfectly for me.

Comments Closed

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