Thursday, October 22, 2009

How About a Little Coverage of the Millions of At-Risk Kids Not Trapped in a Balloon (or Hiding in the Attic)?

Last Thursday, the hot topic on every news channel was the “Balloon Boy.”Apparently, it was believed that a young boy had flown away in a large science balloon only to later be discovered hiding in the attic. News anchors expressed so much concern and worried about the boy’s well-being. As soon as I heard the coverage on this story I became annoyed. It eats me alive to hear all the commotion that is made about incidents of specific missing children when the youth in our communities have been needing the medias attention and focused energy for years now! It is not to say that I do not empathize with the families of the children who are broadcasted but I do feel that the way the media chooses and executes their stories needs to be restructured. There are hundreds of stories of missing, exploited, and marginalized children who should be making the headlines of newspapers. They should be the top stories of the 7 o’clock news; but they are not. The question is, why not? Why are they ignored? Why are the at-risk children not given the time and energy the children of these sensationalized stories are receiving? I believe that it is more than just a mere coincidence that our communities of color, who are experiencing some of the toughest things in this country, are not given the proper coverage on news sources. If more attention were given by the media, the severity of these issues would become more apparent. The increased awareness would then place pressure on those with power to address these problems. Ideally the media should be worried about educating the masses and creating awareness on critical issues. Instead, they have chosen to focus on ratings and popularity which is why they are STILL talking about “Balloon Boy.”


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