When one death is seen as more tragic than another

  • Just got home from work and opened up my MacBook and see the awful tragic story of a murdered golfer from ISU. She was the Big12 champ. She was young, she was white, she was pretty, she was a college athlete. This is an awful tragedy that deserves full attention.

    But if it does deserve full attention, why doesn’t it when the victim is none of the above? Is the senseless killing of so many others, even on a daily basis, less newsworthy?

    What is interesting to me is I find this story on Yahoo’s front page. It’s been my front page since I started surfing these WWW waters 15 years ago. Yahoo is very good at highlighting injustices or perceived injustices, and other stories that favor liberal causes. I get annoyed by some of their headlines to be honest but applaud them when they expose racists/bigots/ whatever phobes there might be. But then they become racist by publicizing this story over many others that are equally tragic, but don’t check all the boxes for what makes them newsworthy.

    Mollie Tibbetts is a name many know. Wasn’t a college athlete but checked the other boxes that the ISU golfer checked. I saw a shared post on FB that had pictures of 4 other persons who were missing at the same time, but didn’t check those boxes, particularly the race box, therefore their story doesn’t make headlines.

    Sometimes all it takes is being a college athlete that makes someones death headline worthy. It bugs me too when I read that a player on the U of Whoever died in a car accident. Why is it important that we know about that? If the person is a well known player, I understand, but these headlines I see most often are not.

    Another realm that I observe this is demonstrated in the headline “Beloved Chimpanzee dies at zoo” Anyone else bugged by headlines like that? I am. “3 Whales Beached and Near Death” might read another headline. I believe that people are placed as stewards of our creation. We care for the animals and environment, so I’m not an anti-animal person or whatever, but people matter more. More than any whale, chimp or puppy.

    It’s a sad commentary I believe on our society. Go to the middle of the local news section of a major city newspaper and you’ll see a small story of someone who doesn’t matter being murdered. They don’t matter because they’re poor, they’re either hispanic or African American, they’re gangbangers, they were drug dealers even. I understand we might say sometimes those victims shouldn’t have been doing what they were doing. I’ve said the same thing, but their lives still matter. In many ways their deaths are even sadder as they lived lives without happiness, or peace, or security, or parents, or siblings, or without basic necessities sometimes.

    Am I saying we shouldn’t mourn what happened today? Absolutely not. But we need to pay more attention to the deaths that don’t check all of the boxes.

  • Not every death is newsworthy. Not every murder is either. Hell the police don’t even care about some murders, why should the general public?

    News outlets aren’t about reporting the news, but rather garnering ratings. It’s what sells that matters. So I guess your question is why doesn’t the general public care about every single murder? In a nutshell there are too many to care about them all.

    I’ve lost two people close to me to murder, as much as I cared about them I don’t think the general public would find either case overly interesting. (There wasn’t much news coverage of either. One murderer is being tried soon. The other never will.) On the other hand I’m dealing with crazy af neighbors who are threatening the life of my 8yo boy and the local news would like to interview us about that (not bloody likely). It’s all about what story sells.

  • @dylans I’ve not had it hit too close except quite a few former students. I know not everyone’s death can become a story, but it’s just interesting to me that they will prioritize which cases do get attention. It’s really a shame.

  • @wissox It’s all about ratings and race is ratings right now. In December 2017 a gal I go to church with son was killed by police, which obviously is a very hot topic the last several years. I never seen it mentioned on any news outlet local or national, why didn’t I? Simple he was white, that doesn’t get the debates fired up. Being murdered by some one that isn’t an illegal alien isn’t going to get as many people going. I believe every murder means something to someone, everyone has some family or friends regardless what they look like, their race or anything else but that’s what sells stories now. We live in a world where celebrities tell us that we are bad for not using alternative fuels, while they fly planes all over the world in private jets and have yachts, pollute 10 times as much as me driving 7 Miles to everyday with my non electric truck (Looking at you Leo DiCaprio). They are all for saving wildlife while wearing perfumes, makeup and clothes most made from the animals they say they are about protecting.

  • @wissox It’s a reflection of society. Another way to look at it is the old George Carlin take (I’m paraphrasing poorly)- 30 people got killed? Wow! It’s in Bolivia - pffft who cares? It’s 3 states over? Now that’s interesting! It’s 3 blocks over? That’s got my full attention, honey get the car we’ve got some bodies to see!!!

    i.e. the closer it is to home (the more it could be you - looks like you, has a similiar neighborhood, similiar lifestyle, more relatable) the more interesting it is to you.

  • Another issue is there are 47 murders a day in the US it’d require a whole new section to the paper! And what kind of person religiously reads the murder section of the paper?!? 😝

  • @dylans Unfortunately I look just about every day where I used to teach.

  • Does anyone remember the day Princess Diana died in a wreck. For 24 hours plus the networks had nonstop coverage. Did you know that Sister Theresa died the same day, and the only coverage of her was a in a news scroll at the bottom of the screen. I am sorry, but in my opinion there is no comparison between the 2 women and their positive effect on this world. That says all you need to know about the media priorities.

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