Thursday, July 14, 2022

News or Sensationalism? Fox News -- "Ohio 10-year-old's alleged rapist is Guatemalan illegal immigrant: ICE source"

Earlier this year, I blogged about the problematic identification of immigration status in crime news stories:

"Because there are many times when a source’s race is irrelevant to the news item, the AP Stylebook careful approach to racial identification thus makes sense.  A criminal suspect’s immigration status should not be included in a crime news story unless it has something to do with the alleged crime.  Otherwise, such a reference is not news but simply exacerbates anti-immigrant and racist passions." 

This Fox News headline is a textbook example of what I was talking about: 

"Ohio 10-year-old's alleged rapist is Guatemalan illegal immigrant: ICE source." 

The crime, of course, is deeply disturbing and tragic.  However, mentioning the suspect's immigration status and national origin in the headline "simply exacerbates anti-immigrant and racist passions."

Moreover, the headline deflects attention from the serious issues about the 10-year old's access to an abortion after the Supreme Court's recent Dobbs decision: 

"The story of the alleged rape was initially published in the Indianapolis Star in the context of the victim reportedly having to cross state lines to Indiana to get an abortion due to the state’s laws. It was cited by proponents of abortion access, who highlighted it as an example of the consequences of access being limited."



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