IS IT SEGREGATED NEWS OR SPECIALIZED PROGRAMMING?

WHAT RACE ARE THE PEOPLE INVOLVED?

I’ve noticed it before and really didn’t digest it until Thursday afternoon. I was at the scene of a murder in Northwest Houston. There was a suspect on the run and a dead body in the apartment complex. All of the reporters and photographers were gathered around the public information officer from the Houston police department asking the basic questions. Who, what, when, where, why and how. But one bold question came up that caused my eyes to try and find the person who asked it in the group. That question was “are the people involved Hispanic?” I was caught off guard by this. I’m wondering why in the world would race matter. So I watched the photographer who asked that question walk away from the group and get into the Univsion truck. And one of my co-workers told me the Hispanic stations do that all the time. If the people involved are not Hispanic then it’s not a story and they typically leave. While I realize they cater to a mostly Hispanic audience I wondered if that is good news coverage. Then I thought about B-E-T and their focus to a mostly African American audience. But I realized that was entertainment and this was the news. Is segregated news a good idea in this day and age. I’d like to hear from you on this issue…

11 Comments

  1. Anonymous July 7, 2006 9:33 am 

    WHO F*C*I*G cares if the person is Hispanic? Theres a dead guy and Univision wants to know what language they spoke?

    The spanish stations really do that all the time. It’s as if there is no news value to a story if they can’t peg it on a hispanic, oh and by that I mean a person who is Mexican, South American or of either decent. It would be very much like someone from FOX 26 asking if the murder victim was Hispanic, and upon hearing they are Isiah and his cameraman decide to leave.

    bottom line- no spanish station can be considered on the same level as the English speaking stations until they cover Houston, not one segment of the population.

  2. Anonymous July 7, 2006 10:31 am 

    I think if they’re going to cover the news they should cover everything but just in Espanol. That doesn’t mean they walk away from a scene because the victims are black or the participants are white. It makes no sense to turn your nose up at a good story just because Mexicans are not involved.

  3. Anonymous July 7, 2006 2:50 pm 

    Do they cover hetero or homo homicides?

    What about disabled or abled murder victims – does it matter?

    What if the alleged Latino is dark skinned or light skinned? Does this play a role?

    I am just curious, said the cat.

  4. Serena July 7, 2006 7:14 pm 

    Race used to be mentioned in news stories involving criminals and victims. Nowdays, we’ve gotten very politically correct and the local newspaper and most TV stations don’t mention race, even when it would be relevant (like in the description of a suspect they’re seeking, for example). The reader rep for the Houston Chronicle has addressed reader complaints about not mentioning the race of a suspect.

    I don’t think there’s an easy answer to this question.

  5. Anonymous July 8, 2006 8:16 pm 

    I don’t think this is good journalism and the news is FAR FROM politically correct. I saw your report on this story and for me the bigger question is why you felt the need to include the two sound bites related to Katrina evacuees when that was TOTALLY unrelated to the story. It’s unfortunate that the media continues to unfairly link most of Houston’s crime problems to the new residents in the city.

  6. Anonymous July 8, 2006 9:13 pm 

    If two Katrina evacuees are involved in a crime then Isiah HAS to mention it because me, aka joe shmo finds that to be interesting. He is a tv journalist and to leave that out he would be a bad one. If a guy is involved in a car chase that ends in a crash , well that is interesting, it’s even more interesting to learn the guy moved here from England and is wealthy. Why? Because most car chases involve felons and psuedo gang members! Way to go Isiah.

  7. Anonymous July 9, 2006 10:03 am 

    and just so you know (poster #5) Isaiah was the only reporter who linked the Katrina issue because the shooter and the victim were both Katrina evacuees. That’s why he mentioned it in the story. “Totally unrelated”, no you are totally uninformed and so eager to gloss over the question at hand.

  8. Anonymous July 9, 2006 12:57 pm 

    Quannel are you posting on the blog again? I hate to break it to you but Isaiah knows a little more abut reporting information and sometimes you mention race and or a persons past when talking about them. When Ken Lay died he wasn’t just the founder of one of the worlds past largest companies- he was also mixed up in one of the largest corruption scandals- leave that part out and you are not doing your job.

    BTW spanish TV is pretty bad, not just the local news. The rest of the programming is poorly produced, and amateurish at times. Even worse than FOX

  9. Jason July 9, 2006 5:04 pm 

    Our government and media are obsessed with a person’s race. That will dictate what kind of story and with what kind of an eye looks at it. If our government really cared about colorblindness, then why eliminate race/sex questions from government paperwork (except in cases of wanted or missing persons of course).

  10. Anonymous July 9, 2006 9:44 pm 

    These hispanic stations are a joke. But, this all goes back to the hispancis that come to the U.S. and want to be treated as americans, but do not want to transform into American society, and they wonder why they are treated differently. They bring cruel behavior upon themselves. No, race should not matter in news coverage. I want to know what’s happening in my city no matter what color, race, religion are creed the newsmaker is.

  11. Anonymous July 9, 2006 11:26 pm 

    BET is specialized programming. If they had a legitimate news program then they would have to diversify but since they don’t then they are doing just what they set out to do. The local spanish channels are in a tough spot. In the case of the English language there is no way they can compete. Their product is not on par with the English stations (cept maybe 39) and the Spanich only audience will leave if they switch to English. So if they try to be legitimate then they will stumble so they have to continue to only cover crimes with Spanish speakers from a few countries that are south of here.

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