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Not making the news

Kevin Marsh Kevin Marsh | 13:52 UK time, Thursday, 29 March 2007

One of the jobs of the BBC College of Journalism is to ask difficult questions - often, they're questions to which no-one has a definitive answer or to which the answer isn't simple. One of those questions is; why do some stories make it onto the national news while others don't?

jasonspencer203_pa.jpgOK... editing a programme is an art not a science and there are many reasons why an editor will decide one way on a Monday and a different way on a Tuesday. I know, I've been there. Plus, programmes aren't edited in hindsight by paragons of omniscience. But think about this.

If you listen to or watch the BBC outside the Midlands, you almost certainly won't know the name Jason Spencer.

17-year-old Jason Spencer was stabbed in the chest on 6 March. A single wound. He died. Eight days later, 16-year-old Kodjo Yenga was stabbed in the chest. A single wound. He died.

Both boys' families were distraught. Both ruled out the possibility that they were involved with gangs or drugs.

Jason Spencer's murder did not make network news... except in a stabbings roundup on News 24 on 19 March. Kodjo Yenga's did; about 170 times on network radio, 14 times on terrestrial bulletins and over 200 times on News 24 between 14 March and 21 March.

Jason Spencer was stabbed in Nottingham; Kodjo Yenga in Hammersmith.

On Radio Five Live this week, Jason's mother and stepfather said they felt they'd been failed by organisations they expected to help. They had in mind organisations like Victim Support.

Does the list end there?

Comments

  • 1.
  • At 03:31 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • Martin Reynolds wrote:

I think that this is a very true but sadly a very common story
It doesn't make any sense why a story of equal value did not get the same coverage
Maybe may I dare say that because the other vitim was black that, was why he was put on to the news to fit the image of knife crime
For instance when a black person is attacked it is a race attack and gets lots of media attention but when a white person is attack it isn't and gets no media attention at all
For instance the police said that in England that racist attacks affect both whites and blacks equally but yet we never hear about this in the news
I will give you an 2 examples
Late last year or was it a boy in Glasgow was stabbed to death but it wasn't highlighted in the news
In Glasgow the local residents said that their was more rasicts attacks on white people than asians but yet this wasn't highlighted it wasn't in the news
Also earlier this year a boy was stabbed outside a school in England but because he was attacked by a group of asian kids outside his school but the school yearhead down played any notion of a racist attack - why was this can only racism only affect black people?
Is that it?
If this happened to a black kid it would be called a racist attack but
by using this logical then some attacks by say a white person can be an attack but not necessarily an rasicts one
Law for the goose is law for the gander that is what I say
The point that I trying to make is sometimes a attack by say a person of one race on to anotheir race may or may not be racial, and that racism can affect anyone black or white regradless of ho you are
I wish that the media could carry stoires in a fair and balanced manner

  • 2.
  • At 03:35 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • S. Blyth wrote:

Jason was a white victim, so under the BBC anti-white race agenda, deserved no publicity.

I don't think it's a 'race' issue in that regard. I think it's just yet another example that the BBC (and not just the Beeb - every other news organisation is equally guilty, many more so) seem to rate anything happening outside London as 'regional' news, yet consider that London news is 'national'.

Not to me, it isn't. To me london news is regional to the south east. Just because you are based down there doesn't mean the rest of us, countrywide, think more of london than anywhere else.

National news is news that affects the whole country. Some London stories (westminster etc) do qualify. Many don't.

  • 4.
  • At 03:56 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • Chris Wills wrote:

The answer to your question is obvious... to anybody who lives outside the M25. The media is obsessed by what happens in London and often completely ignores what happens outside.
An indicative recent example was the tornado in London. It was reported as if it was a first amazing spectacle on most media outlets yet a similar one had occured only a year before in the centre of Birmingham that was ignored and then it eventually came out that there were around 30 per year in the UK.
In terms of murders it is quite often that a murder in London is reported as a national news story when a similar and sometimes more interesting murder outside London is completely ignored.
I think it is because many people who live and work inside the M25 rarely get out and believe the whole of the UK revolves around them.

  • 5.
  • At 03:57 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • Rich wrote:

Personally, I'd suggest that it's more that both many areas of Nottingham, Glasgow and London are regarded as "gang" areas - so a stabbing in those areas is regarded, rightly or wrongly, as 'par' these days.

Don't know about the Spencer case, but certainly the stabbings in Edgware and Hammersmith were both in specific areas where - in my experience - high crime is still the exception, rather than the rule, so therefore a greater shock to the surrounding community (rather than just the family), so therefore more likely to appear in national news.

  • 6.
  • At 03:57 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • Jason Jones wrote:

I think that Martin Reynolds touches on some worthwhile points. It is true that the popular media perception of racism is that it flows primarily one way: directed by whites towards darker folk. This is unfortunate, as it serves the interests of neither community to ignore or somehow minimise the impact of violence or discrimination on victims, regardless of their ethnicity.

It is, however, important to put the stories of the two knife attacks into context. Kodjo Yenga's death came hard on the heels of a series of particularly violent deaths of young black males in London. These tragic deaths were all evidently unconnected, but served to highlight a growing problem of knife crime in the capital. There has been a lot of focus on so-called black-on-black crime (note we never hear of white-on-white crime as a special phenomenon) in the last decade or so. I think this is in keeping with the "racist whites as aggressors" model of criminals targeting ethnic minorities. A story that contradicts that, like black youths killing other black youths, then supposedly stands out.

It's very likely that there were several other violent attacks in London during the past month, but they don't fit the supposedly new and exciting (to the media) black-on-black violence that has captured the attention of editors. As such they don't get as much attention; it's tough to get self-appointed leaders of ethnic communities involved in public hand-wringing when the victim or perpetrator isn't one of their own.

Jason Spencer's death, though tragic, would be unlikely ever to get as much attention. Wrong ethnicity, wrong place. Off-trend.

  • 7.
  • At 04:03 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • Vicky Stiles wrote:

I'm not sure it's to do with race or regionalism; there seems to be a snowball effect. Once a story gains momentum, every aspect of the case will be reported. If a story is overshadowed on the day it breaks, it will probably disappear completely.
Unfortunately these aren't just stories but real, tragic events and it's a fact that both extremes - no coverage or unavoidably widespread coverage - both cause extra distress to the families.
So far as I'm aware (I could be wrong), there's more violent crime in Nottigham and Glasgow than there is in Hammersmith.

  • 8.
  • At 04:05 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • Kenneth wrote:

Martin Reynolds makes the point very clearly, "When a black person is attacked it is a race attack and gets lots of media attention but when a white person is attack it isn't and gets no media attention at all"

  • 9.
  • At 04:18 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • Pete wrote:

Kevin - the face that you refer to 'Hammersmith', rather that just London, is part of the problem. If a stabbing happened in another city, would anyone at the BBC even know the difference between one area and another?

  • 10.
  • At 04:35 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • Lee Walker wrote:

If Jason Spencer had been shot, the 'national' press would have been all over this story, as was the case with Danielle Beccan.

The London media's infatuation with branding Nottingham as the UK gun capital has nothing to do with actual facts, as a killing is a killing, London or Nottingham, White or Black, Gun or Knife. We need facts before hope, and truth before spin.

I also find it tragic that the killing of Jason Spencer appears consigned to the backwaters of regional news, thus denying the crime the publicity that can often lead to a breakthrough in the search for the killer.

The London-centric press should be ashamed of it's inward, race-obsessed self.

  • 11.
  • At 04:38 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • Nadia wrote:

It seems quite obvious why one made the national news and the other didn't. The news agenda focused on black on black crime and the murders (both gun and knife related) that occurred during this period.

Reporting Jason's murder nationally did not 'fit in' with the headlines and so many of us did not hear of his tragic murder.

  • 12.
  • At 04:42 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • Brendan Halfweeg wrote:

Might I suggest that there are 20 million people who either live or work in London? The crime in question was also another tragedy in a line of murders of young people at the hands of other (likely) young people. If one third of the nation is directly connected to the capital and the vast majority of the rest are indirectly connected to London through relatives and friends, then London news is bigger and more newsworthy than events in other parts of the nation.

  • 13.
  • At 04:54 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • Dexter Cole wrote:

I agree partially with some of the previous comments that the reports have racial undertones. I guess most of the previous comments have come from white people so let me give you my thought as a black person. I believe that the media 'over reports' crimes where the perpetrators are black to further stereotype the black race as a violent and criminal one. How many times have you read in the papers where suspects are described by their race when they happen to be white? You'll probably see something like 'two middle aged men'. However, when it is a black suspect, you get told straight away.

Most of the London stabbings have been classed as so called 'black on black' crime that's why you have the media hype. Criminals should be treated with the same iron gloves irrespective of race. I don't condone yobbish or criminal behavior in my neighborhood no matter the race of the people involved.

I feel for all the victims of crime and their families, Asian, Black or white and all these crimes should be reported evenly and fairly.

  • 14.
  • At 04:56 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • Robin Arnold wrote:

This seems a very petty thing to ask considering the gravity of the story, but would the fact the murder was in Birmingham and not London influence it? It seems to me the news is weighted to reflect the sort of world which media professionals live in. For example stories about the trains in London seem often to make headline news, even though the story is inconsequencial to the majority who don't live in London or use public transport. I imagine BBC staff use public transport in London a lot so they unwittingly think it's a story of importance to people. Pressumably a murder in Birmingham is unwittingly not seen as important as one on journalist's doorsteps.

  • 15.
  • At 05:07 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • ahaynes wrote:

This item would have been much more useful if the editor Kebin Marsh had actually offered some answers as to why one story made the news and the other didn't.
Many commentators have hypothesised in the follow up discussion, and academics and similar regularly discuss such issues.
It seems a missed opportunity for the ediror here to just pose more questions rather than try to tackle the issue itself and offer an 'insider perspective' - a perspective that is often lacking in such debates
Sometimes reports of such deaths are quickly curtailed by the restrictions of the Contempt of Court Act when someone is arrested quickly after such a murder. Was this the case in this instance? If not, then a discussion of what news values and imperatives were in play would be illuminating

  • 16.
  • At 05:08 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • Chris wrote:

In reply to Brendan Halfweeg's point about London news being bigger. Almost all of those 20 million (I wont question the figure) will live in either the BBC London or South East regions. London stories are therefore still (bi-)regional.

To make a link to a trivial matter, without detracting from the sad loss of life, compare this to the annual media interest in whether there'll be a white Christmas. Most of the country can be under a foot of snow and it wont be reported until a single flake falls inside the M25, at which point it becomes a "national" disaster.

  • 17.
  • At 05:43 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • Phil wrote:

Last Friday near my home there was a fatal stabbing. Somebody lost their life, parents lost their son, two families will be devastated by the after effects. This merited a half screen story on the BBC website, tucked away on the England pages. Similar, and lesser, crimes with a racial element have been given multiple pages on the home page.

I totally agree with Dexters statement that all criminals and victims should be treated the same. The media seems to have an obsession with race whether the perpetrators or the victims are non-white. I believe this obsession, no doubt with the best liberal PC intentions, is fuelling rather than fighting racism.

  • 18.
  • At 05:44 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • Robert wrote:

At last, someone at the BBC is acknowledging that racism cuts both ways!

  • 19.
  • At 05:58 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • Peter Furumark wrote:

Post #8 by Vicky Stiles offers by far the best explanation: Kodjo's death made the headlines because it came after a series of similar killings. Several of the other posts have nasty, racist undertones.

  • 20.
  • At 06:14 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • Richard wrote:

Double standards regarding the reporting of sudden deaths are not just restricted to murder. A few weeks ago an elderly lady was sadly killed in a rail accident. The result? The nation's media camped out on site for days, acres of leader columns, hours of TV interviews/vox pops etc.

10 days ago, there was a fatal road accident between Stoke Hammond and Milton Keynes. I only know this because of a police appeal notice at the site. Judging from the yellow paint and skid marks, it appears that a motorcyclist was probably involved. Result? No mention on local TV. It did not even merit a single paragraph in any of the nearby local papers as far as I'm aware.

Of course, I know the reason for the reporting imbalance already. Fatal road accidents are commonplace, just a background to everyday life whereas rail accidents are thankfully very rare indeed.

Unfortunately the reverse impression is conveyed by so much media coverage.

  • 21.
  • At 11:47 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • john newcastle wrote:

You can dance around this all you want,the difference is in the skin colour.White people being murdered are not seen by the BBC as being as importent as black people who are murdered.

  • 22.
  • At 11:53 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

One was white and one black. In the eyes of the BBC the first is of no importance!

  • 23.
  • At 11:54 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • Adrian Irish wrote:

I agree with dexter completely , being a black man (well mixed race but classed as black )and a Londoner it is obvious that when a killing is to do with a black person it will make front page news regardless of area . There was a story a while back about the boy shot in moss side Manchester. But as others have pointed out incidents that have happened in other areas with white people are not reported on . Because of this whole black on black crime issue at the moment the media have to make it news . Papers such as The Sun make it news when it isnt even news . an example of this was in the tv pages , where i think they were advertising next weeks The Bill and one of the main characters were shot dead . they showed the pc laying on the floor and in the far right corner there was a picture of a black man . Now not once in this article was he mentioned it was as if he was just put there to remind us that where there is gun crime it is a black male . There is gun crime and knife crime and killings in parts of the country where there are no black people . Will it make the news ?? no it wont it isnt in fashion at the moment !!!!!!!

  • 24.
  • At 11:57 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • Bryan wrote:

Mr. Marsh, as one of the people who shape the attitudes of BBC journalists you know, or you should know, that the BBC is implacably biased in its unequal treatment of black and white victims of crime.

The BBC's overwhelming concern for ethnic minorities is shown most clearly in its excessive empathy for black or other minority victims of white racist murderers and its indifference to white victims of black or other racist murderers. We see this discrepancy time and time again.

You have a responsibility to all the people who pay your salary, not just a few groups of your own choosing.

I'm not British but if I were a white Briton exposed to the BBC on a daily basis I would be feeling distinctly uncomfortable in my own country.

  • 25.
  • At 12:26 AM on 30 Mar 2007,
  • RichardV wrote:

Kevin Marsh knows the answer to this but perhaps but to put it in his blog would make him seem callous. The death of any child is equally regrettable but not every death is equally interesting to readers or viewers. One story was simply more interesting.

The main reason the Kodjo case got such coverage was the way that the killing was described by witnesses, it was truly shocking. There are almost no details of Jason's murder so it is difficult to make it a big story.

The second reason is that the Kodjo case fitted in with several narratives that the media is currently fascinated by. Such as young murder victims, gangs in London, black crime and what is going wrong with our kids.

I think these reasons are more important than a regional or racial bias. Although they are factors. If Jason had died in the same circumstances as Kodjo it would have been just as big a story.

But I do agree that if Kodjo had died in the same way as Jason. It probably would have got a little bit more press because it would have been linked into the recent deaths in London. But it wouldn't have been a very big story.

This is also not really to do with a BBC Bias. All the rest of media gave huge coverage to one murder and not much to the other.

  • 26.
  • At 05:53 AM on 30 Mar 2007,
  • Steven, Manchester wrote:

The two key points have already been covered by other commentators, but as I agree with them wholeheartedly, here's my tuppence worth:

1) Kodyo Yenga was black, and the murder of young black men is highly topical right now. Therefore his tragic death gets more coverage; in the abstract I can kind of understand why, but this is of little comfort to the family of Jason Spencer.

2) He was killed in London, which as we all know is the centre of the universe. Having once lived (and worked in broadcasting) in London, I know for myself that there really is a sense there that London news is national news, whereas the rest of the country is just "regional".

  • 27.
  • At 06:08 AM on 30 Mar 2007,
  • stuart wrote:

It's obvious from reading the many opinions posted that the BBC are guilty of misrepresenting the very nation they pretend to represent.

Shame on you.

  • 28.
  • At 07:56 AM on 30 Mar 2007,
  • dave wrote:

It is perfectly obvious why there is a big difference...when a white person is killed it is not big news,there is no racism involved.

  • 29.
  • At 09:08 AM on 30 Mar 2007,
  • Angus Morris wrote:

I watched the news on the BBC a couple of weeks ago. There was a tragic story of a boy's death from a knife assault in London on the main news. Later, in the regional news from the North West there were three apparently similar murders in the Manchester. None of these were reported in the main news. I didn't notice any racial bias probably because I wasn't looking for it.
I have lived in various parts of the UK and the further you are from London the less attention your region receives from the BBC.

  • 30.
  • At 09:40 AM on 30 Mar 2007,
  • Nick wrote:

The difference is London. London stories get better coverage than those from elsewhere.

  • 31.
  • At 09:59 AM on 30 Mar 2007,
  • Richard Morris wrote:

KM says 'OK... editing a programme is an art not a science and there are many reasons why an editor will decide one way on a Monday and a different way on a Tuesday. I know, I've been there. Plus, programmes aren't edited in hindsight by paragons of omniscience'.

I think this misses the point by a large margin. This is not about day to day differences of opinion. It is about systematically ignoring a major crime. As others have pointed out, we are not told why this happened. How about it, Kevin?

  • 32.
  • At 10:13 AM on 30 Mar 2007,
  • Anna wrote:

As far as I'm concerned it's blatand London-centrism.

Murders in Staffordshire barely make the local news, murders in London make the national news.

A serious crash on the M6 that closes it between two junctions at rush hour gets no mention even at local level, a crash on the M25 is national news.

Snow 'up north' gets no attention, snow in London is a national disaster.

Black on black gun crime in Manchester is a local problem, black on black gun crime in London is a national problem showing the decline of society...

  • 33.
  • At 02:13 PM on 30 Mar 2007,
  • Andrew Smith wrote:

If it weren't for the fact that most victims of gun crime are black - thus allowing the BBC to portray blacks as victims rather than perpetrators - we wouldn't even know that there is a problem with black gun crime.

By concealing that a perpetrator of a serious act of violence is a member of a small ethnic minority it also unjustly leaves the audience thinking they are white. Hardly fair. But obviously doesn't matter in the wonderful wacky world of PeeCee.

  • 34.
  • At 09:51 PM on 30 Mar 2007,
  • Charlene wrote:

Media concentration on victims does nothing to help anyone but the media - it doesn't close cases (as coverage of the *crime* sometimes does) and it doesn't help the family - in fact, it can make things worse by exposing the family to abuse, ridicule, and even the cruel attentions of the paparazzi.

The Birmingham victim's family should be concerned that victims' rights organizations are ignoring them, but they should be giving thanks to God that the media isn't badgering them.

"One of the jobs of the BBC College of Journalism is to ask difficult questions"

For instance, why WTC7 fell at free-fall speeds?

  • 36.
  • At 05:58 PM on 31 Mar 2007,
  • Baz wrote:

Search the BBC website for murder/death you will find lots of stories every day. Sadly it is all too common. Not every one of these stories is gonna make headlines. Besides some would say there is too much bad news.
The attacks from some here about the race of the victim is purely BNP propaganda. Crimes are reported as 'racially motivated' if the police investigate it as such or the courts find it to have been a motivation.
So Martin Reynolds, in your 2 examples, you ignore the very heavy reporting restrictions placed on the coverage of the murder of Kris Donald until after ther verdict. Post verdict there was significant coverage, including a look at the statistics for racist murders. The attack on the white schoolboy by a gang of Asians was not believed to be racist by the police but rather was due to some personal grievance. The suggestions of racism were local rumours. Something I expect the BBC not to report as fact.
However, you are more interested in distorting the facts to fit your agenda and promote the victim complex of the poor 'indigenous white people'. I am sure the BNP will be delighted to hear from you.

  • 37.
  • At 11:36 PM on 31 Mar 2007,
  • Marco L wrote:

Yes

We can hear parroting of US and UK goverment propaganda, but not hear evidences when those are proven to be false. Like british armed forces arrested in area of Iran: GPS location stated is right but the drawn border line in british maps was wrong.

Some will be news and some not. It's just a question of art I quess...

  • 38.
  • At 10:53 AM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • David wrote:

Talking about stuff that dosn't make the news, how come the Times and the Telegraph are leading with Gordon Brown's multi billion pension raid and you don't even mention it on your news front page?

I would have thought Brown taking people's hard earned savings to finance benefits for the idle and asylum seeker's legal aid payments would have been newsworthy.

I'm a bit late to the stage, but this London has a bigger daddy than your daddy is a pet hate of mine.

We all remember the national disaster that was the water shortage in the South last year, right? Yup, it was a true national disaster that affected us all, even us folk up here in bone dry Yorkshire. :rolls eyes:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to recall the water shortage throughout Yorkshire and the North in the 90's (where tankers were flying up my road every two minutes with water!) didn't get past local news.

All hail London. The centre of all things great.

  • 40.
  • At 11:30 AM on 03 Apr 2007,
  • William Gradwell wrote:

This is, what comes out of the rear of a male cow. The BBC journalists and editors have a choice to make. It is their responsibility. It is their job. It is what they get paid for. Their decision what is reported. Not an issue of 'race crimes'. It is about what the media choose to feed us and what we are prepared to listen to. Only in this instance, all us licence payers are paying the wages of these people who feed us this 'deflection'. We don't report the news, the BBC does. It is supposed to be 'accurate and unbiased' reporting. Make your own minds up.

Blogs and all can try and deflect the criticisms but the real issues still remain. Somone, somewhere, has made a decison and a choice. It is their responsibility to stand up and state how and why they reached that decison when in a public arena and wages paid for by the licenec fee. Stop hiding behind and deflecting the discussion. Quite simply why and how are the decisions made on what is and what is not on the main UK news?

And please remember, many of us do not have digital, do not have satellite TV, nor radio and rely solely on five terrestial channels including BBC 1 and BBC 2 for the news. NOT News 24 or other channels out there.

  • 41.
  • At 10:01 PM on 03 Apr 2007,
  • William Gradwell wrote:

If there is going to be a debate then it should be about one subject– without deflection and smoke screens – is the BBC news reporting fulfilling its Charter, representing the public interest, the regions, and doing so independently? I assume the answer is yes, others may not. Someone else might like to comment, someone from the BBC would be helpful.

You will of course need to know the BBC Royal Charter. Here are some relevant paragraphs –

3. The BBC’s public nature and its objects
(1) The BBC exists to serve the public interest.


4. The Public Purposes
The Public Purposes of the BBC are as follows—

d) representing the UK, its nations, regions and communities;


6. The independence of the BBC
(1) The BBC shall be independent in all matters concerning the content of its output,


AUDIENCE COUNCILS
39. Audience Councils

(2) The Councils must use their engagement with and understanding of communities to advise the Trust on how well the BBC is promoting its Public Purposes from the perspective of licence fee payers, and serving licence fee payers, in different parts of the UK.

4) In addition, there must be mechanisms for bringing together members from different Councils to consider how well the BBC is serving audiences in promoting the Public Purposes.


41. BBC staff
(1) The BBC shall appoint staff for the efficient performance of its functions and transaction of its business.


52. Compliance with Charter and Framework Agreements
(1) The BBC shall strictly and faithfully comply with this Charter and any Framework Agreement in force.


In ter est ing.

  • 42.
  • At 10:45 AM on 04 Apr 2007,
  • Mark E wrote:

"The attack on the white schoolboy by a gang of Asians was not believed to be racist by the police but rather was due to some personal grievance. The suggestions of racism were local rumours."

A friend of mine is a police officer, and he once mentioned in passing that they are discouraged from considering attacks by non-whites on whites as "racist" attacks for fear of causing further tensions within communitys who do not feel they get fair treatment from the police.

Personally, I don't mind if this is how they deal with the situation if it allows the police to build better community relations after all a racist murder is no worse then a non-racist murder. So if making it a "racist" attack causes further tensions then perhaps it is best if they aren't considered to be racist attacks.

  • 43.
  • At 03:22 AM on 10 Apr 2007,
  • Neil Loughbrough wrote:

RACIST?. REGIONAL?

May I invite the BBC to investigate the above claims and act in the interest of the whole the population regardless of colour or where they live.

XTRA.. an attack that is deemed racist should be discounte until proved in a court of law..the motive for an attack should not necessarily be classed as racist just because the coluor of skin is different..either way it is a crimal act and should be punished accordingly.

The editors views on which story to post must be a difficult one but an impartial one. In this case he is the one to be held responsible is the editor rightly or wrongly. I hope you take on board the racial tension and unrest the press is creating by reporting crimes on non whites as "racially" motivated. Perhaps dropping the racist card and treating the crime/s by their individual seriousness regardless.
ASK yourself this.. if this happened to a white person outside London would this really hit the news..
Only you the Editor can answer that.
We all look forward to your answer.

  • 44.
  • At 10:56 PM on 20 Apr 2007,
  • ??amy wrote:

ok im not a person to get political but people have no idea what they are talkin about. i live in nottingham and knew jason through a friend i no longer speak to, so i had no idea it was jason that had died after hearing about the stabbing, due to a lack of coverage on the story....But i do have to say that Nottingham has a very high crime rate and deaths via stabbings or gun crime are quiet common (as wrong and unjust as it is). i can say that i know around 5 people that have died within the past couple of years from either stab wounds or gun crime (black youths) and there story hasnt been broad cast widely. so its unfair for people to say he didnt get much coverage because he was white because the majority of victims in nottingham are black and they too recieve little coverage. Sometimes just a small corner in the evening post. i had to comment on what people were sayin because you clearly are lookin on it from the perspective of somebody that clearly doesnt know there facts. (and the daniel beccan case was broadcast alot because she was a young girl aged 14, NOT because shes a black girl).
at the end of the day, black or white, stories of the same nature should be treated with the same importance and those with the opinion that young black youths that get killed get more coverage.. you are wrong as iv proved in the above text. and if it SEEMS like they do its simply to high light black on black crime/gangs/and gun culture, which makes people sterio types young black youths. so don't think it's done for our advantage.

  • 45.
  • At 03:05 AM on 04 Oct 2007,
  • john greensmith wrote:

i have read the comments on the coverage of our murdered son jason spencer nottingham if anyone outside the m25 is interested the court case is on the 8th october in crown court nottingham just thoght i would mention it as you will probably never know otherwise........

  • 46.
  • At 07:45 PM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • D Tucker wrote:

In response to previous comments, Jason's mother is in fact of mixed heritage not that I think this matters in the slightest. Let's put the petty matters of race away and look at the cold hard facts and that is that as a nation we are in big trouble. Influences from music, tv and most other media resources are feeding our children information which then excacerbates feelings of must have, this is what needs to be addressed. Most girls want to be anorexic and famous and most boys want to be like the gangster types that they observe in music videos.

There is an immense amount of pressure to be seen to be wearing the latest labels and let's not forget the designer phones...mind you this is only the tip of the iceberg! The pressure being put on the children of today is leading to the poisonous activity we see them displaying.
Drugs are seen as an easy way to replace the self esteem that many of them lack, but then bring out the negative emotions (caused by family economical pressure, domestic violence, substance abuse to name but a few) which lead many of them to kill. This situation has been building up for years yet we chose to ignore the signals. Many working class families were destroyed beyond repair during the "Thatcher years" and the domestic heart of the family unit suffered for that with many men hitting the bottle and the wife! Frustration stemmed from the feelings of inadequacy in not being able to provide for loved ones. This led to the poison being released that we are observing today. Those young damaged children of the 80's then went on to have children of their own at increasingly alarming younger ages passing a lot of baggage down in the process.

I think that as a nation we need to think about how we educate our children out of school and the government needs to seriously consider the help they provide to under priviledged families for out of school activities to participate in. The problem is you see...it is strarting to look as if you only get rewarded when you are bad. Children sent into care begin parading new trainers, phones and brag about great holidays away. Think about it...many children out on the streets until all hours offend because they want some of the seeming awards that the others are receiving even if this means taking them. A lot of them would respond the right kind of help, as their elders we need to listen properly to what they suggest. We are dealing with a very frustrated generation and they are turning their frustrations on each other.

I feel so annoyed that the real issues are still being overlooked. It's time to stop looking at the location and race of the victims and killers and who gets coverage and doesn't because it's a black, white and asian issue. Poison doesn't discriminate. Listen to what they have to say...carefully.

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