Media Blog

Just the Facts, Ma’am

There were two crimes of note in Manhattan this weekend.  Here’s how the city’s local news station, NY1, covered both stories:

Rape in Harlem:

The suspect is described as a dark-skinned man in his 30s, about 6’1” tall and 180 pounds. Police say he’s bald, wears a goatee and has a scar on his stomach.

Robbery in downtown hotel:

Police say the man is around 25-years-old, 5’7” tall, and was last seen wearing a black pea coat, blue jeans, brown shoes and was carrying a black North Face backpack.

Compare that to coverage of the crimes by the NY Post:
Rape in Harlem:

The attacker was described as black man in his 30s, about 6-feet-1, 180 pounds, bald with a goatee and with a scar on his abdomen.

Robbery in downtown hotel:

The bandit is described as a 25-year-old white man, about 5-foot-7. He was wearing a black pea coat, blue jeans, brown shoes and was carrying a black North Face backpack.

Has race become so sensitive an issue that news organizations feel the need to change and/or omit facts when reporting crimes? 

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