More on Maria

September 27, 2007 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

First, it looks like I owe the Journal Star an apology. journalstar.com did cover Maria Moreno’s murder, but they offered their heavy coverage on Tuesday, not Wednesday (when it appeared in the print version). My jump to conclusions was based on incomplete and incorrect information. Many thanks to journalstar.com editor Steve Smith for setting me straight.

Let me explain the main reason I was primed to jump to conclusions in the first place. I don’t think anybody is ever completely happy with how the media do their job. They leave X piece of information out, or they focus too much on Y, and so on. It’s a battle the media will never win. One of my media-related perceptions is what I consider an undue emphasis on the plight of “pretty white females” at the expense of persons from other demographics. Look up “Madeleine McCann” for one example in the national media.

When I saw the front page of yesterday’s Journal Star, I knew without reading the article that the murder victim was probably not white and not rich. There was something about the way the article was presented and how it was written. Like the fact that the victim’s name didn’t come until the seventh paragraph. The article left me feeling uneasy about the quality of coverage the murder was receiving.

Then I turned on the computer and went to journalstar.com to see if there were any updates on the story. There weren’t. Plus, as I wrote yesterday, I couldn’t even find the article at first. Like I said above, it turns out the story was apparently covered well online the day before. But I didn’t know that, so I got angry.

Now, lest you think I’m accusing the Journal Star of active bias, I most certainly am not. Their overall record doesn’t support that charge. There may be a hundred reasons why Maria Rosario Moreno isn’t getting the coverage that some other victims have received. There could be a whole team of reporters out looking for more information for all I know. She may have been a loner with few friends and no local family; the LJS may not have nor have access to any photos of her; and so on. All that has been said about Maria so far is that ““She was a very nice woman ... And an unbelievably hard worker”, and “She was a pleasant little girl, as far as I’m concerned”. Perhaps that really is all the LJS can gather.

Still, the story seems incomplete. Neither of the two articles so far mention Moreno’s family or any attempts to contact them. We don’t know her hometown, or the funeral plans. Without knowing anything about her life, most Lincolnites will quickly forget about her death.

What I would like you to tell me is this: Am I reading too much into this? Should I just move on? Or is it fair of me to ask why Maria Rosario Moreno’s life hasn’t received at least a few more words on page 1B?

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The Comments

Steinkraus September 27, 2007 at 5:19pm

Maybe LJS should adopt a policy of including “no further information was available at press time” on their articles of this nature.  That way we’d all know why there was no more information written.

Pedro Walton September 27, 2007 at 6:50pm

Yes, you are reading too much into this. The LJS has a strong history of covering the plight of immigrants, the disadvantaged and ethnic and racial minorities. See the coverage of the Tony Wada (sp?) case or their recent gigantic series on the Pine Ridge Reservation for examples.

isotope September 28, 2007 at 12:59pm

Well…you should be satisfied with the coverage in today’s print paper—articles in both English and Spanish.

Mr. Wilson September 28, 2007 at 1:11pm

Indeed. I read both. Well, tried to, anyway.

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