Oftentimes the news is not newsworthy. A lot of times it’s just entertainment. Sometimes the media will exploit children for ratings, whether it be for humor or sensationalism. In any case, these pieces often reinforce stereotypes.
Here are five incidents where we believe the media has exploited Black children.
4. The Gun-Crazed Kid
WBBM-TV in Chicago deliberately quoted a 4-year-old Black child out of context, turning him from a young child who had ambitions to be a police officer, into a young hoodlum-in-training. When the child said “I’m going to have a gun when I grow up, I’m going to be police,” the producers omitted the latter part about wanting to be police and only left his statement about the gun.
3. The Victim’s Wacky Brother Becomes The Story
Kelly Dodson was interviewed by WAFF-48 from Huntsville, Ala. after she claimed a man jumped into her bed and tried to rape her. Due to the mannerisms of her brother Antoine, the media quickly turned the story into comedy, ignoring that the story dealt with the serious issue of an underage girl claiming she was raped. Antoine Dodson would wind up buying a house from the proceeds from a song that used the newscast. The suspect was never found.
2.The Auto Thief
Latarian Milton was a 7-year-old boy with psychological problems who stole his grandmother’s car. The media usually doesn’t name or show underage suspects, but WPBF, the ABC affiliate in Palm Beach, Fla., decided to interview the young man, not once but three times, turning the young troubled kid into an Internet sensaiton.
1. Too Little, Too Late To Care
Derrion Albert was a Chicago teen beaten to death in an afterschool fight. The media released his gruesome killing and ratings soared. Although the incident did bring a great deal of attention to Black-on-Black crime, the release of the gruesome killing seemed to exploit the memory of this young man.