Do Missing Black Youth Get Media Coverage?
teen went missing december 2010
Phylicia Barnes: did girl get fair airplay?
After months of searches and appeals to the public, authorities confirmed last April, that a body found in a northeast Maryland river was that of Barnes, a North Carolina teen who went missing while visiting relatives in Baltimore over the Christmas holidays last year. Phylicia, only 16 years old, was an honors student who was due to graduate high school early and attend college this year.
This story brings up the sticky subject of the media coverage given to miissing teens and youth who just happen to be african-american, Does the media give the same coverage to missing black youth as it does to other missing youth? Could this young lady have been saved if more information about her disappearance was shared much earlier than it was. I am sure this discussion is a moot point for the thousands of Phylicias that go missing every year. Does the media have a responsibilty to help these families?
Blackandmissinginc.com is a website devoted to helping these families find their loved ones when hardly anybody else will. According to the webite,
"Black and Missing, Inc (BAM) has been established as a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring awareness to missing persons of color; provide vital resources and tools to missing person's families and friends and to educate the minority community on personal safety."
To my knowledge, The Tom Joyner Morning Show was one of the few media outlets to air information about the missing teen. Joyner along with Jacque Reid, a contributing journalist to the show, worked hard to get the word out and both were obviously disappointed about the outcome.