Out of the many articles relating to crime in the New York Times, I chose three articles dealing with racial crimes. The earliest article, dated December 16, 1883, is titles “Accused of Killing a Negro” and covers a story that could be a possible murder case. The second article is dated December 16, 1933 and the slightly sensational title, “Negro, Freed by Court, Hanged in Tennessee; Lynching Handled Quietly, Sheriff Says”, sums up practically the entire article. The latest of the three articles is dated December 16, 1983 and is titled “Officer Accused of Racial Assault.” The earliest article describes a story of an African-American man who was found dead more than a year earlier than December 16, 1883.
The story reveals that although it had been more than a year, there were no inquests held and it was generally believed that the man had simply fallen into the river by accident. Only recent to December 16, 1883 had two white men confessed they knew men who robbed the victim and murdered him and only then had investigation been done to prove if the confession was true. The article ended without a definite conclusion, claiming that the investigation could not prove anything definite and alluding to possible “bogus confessions.” This early article, I believe displays the author’s bias in racial issues. On the other hand, the bias could be seen not as a bias but rather a display of the beliefs of the period in which the article was written. For example, reference to the African American victim as “Negro” was common in the 20 th century and earlier, but it is now considered an inappropriate term.
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The definition in web states that the reason “Negro” could be found offensive is because it is related to the term “Nigger.” In this particular article, “Negro” is used in the title to describe the victim. The headline does not say man or boy but chooses to define him purely by his race. Also, the article casually describes that the “body of a colored man was found floating.” The immediate mention of race in this article is continuous as the writer goes on to describe the “white members of the Drum robber band” and the “Negro, Lane.” This constant reference to color serves as a divide between white people and black people and could definitely serve to consciously or subconsciously alter the reactions of whomever is reading the article. The article also fails to show all dimensions of the story, and this failure comes from racism as well.
In the beginning of the article, it is casually mentioned that a “colored man” was found floating in a river more than a year previous to the article and that it had been assumed that this man had fallen off a ship. There had been no inquests, no autopsies, and no questionings. The article fails to mention why there had been no beliefs of anything other than an accidental death and simply moves along to the other aspects of the article. The story continues to mention that only with the confessions of one white prisoner was the issue of manslaughter ever brought up and based on the confession, two men were arrested. The article gives the names of both men arrested, but only points out that one of them was “colored” and he is the only one who is accused of the murder. It is the underlying assumptions in this article that display bias in the writer.
The writer’s voice is heard, not because he / she is deliberately trying to change the opinions of readers but simply because he / she holds racist ideals that naturally reflect in the writing. When the white robber claims to have witnessed the murder, the black men mentioned are immediately accused and there is no mention throughout the article of the black men’s stories or alibis. It is also only when the white robber has given this testimony is the coroner “so impressed” that he has the remains of the murdered man examined. It is not mentioned in the article that so basic a procedure had not been performed on the man before the testimony of the white robber. Even in wording is the article biased, as when it speaks of the white robber, it only refers to him as a “robber and incendiary”, but when speaking of the black men who are eventually arrested, the article refers to them as “desperadoes”, which is described by web as “A reckless, furious man; a person urged by furious passions and regardless of consequence; a wild ruffian.” Such a description of two men that have not even been convicted of a crime could taint a reader’s opinion and reveal a bias in the author. This article has an aspect that separates it from the other two articles as well as most of the articles seen in the paper today, which is that it is completely devoid of a mentioning of sources and there is an absence of direct quotes.
... evil (black) and good (white). Other colors are also used, although less often than black and white. Throughout the story, people are thought to ... elegance of getup (Conrad p. 21). This demonstrates how a white man was not expected to be a good person. Elegance of ... dress was unexpected because the man was white. In comparison, a white-souled, black-skinned person is thought to be ...
In accordance to this writing style, the entire story is based on word of mouth. There are no details or descriptions to the events in the story as everything written is describing a story that one white robber told the police. Other than that one story teller, the people affected by the story, and the authorities who thought the story credible, there are no other sources. The “colored man’s” family and friends are not mentioned although they might have been able to provide their input on the “colored man’s” death. The alibis for the men arrested for the alleged crime is never brought up and the hotel at which the colored man was residing when killed is also never questioned. The lack of tangible facts and lack of investigation makes this article poor news coverage in terms of recent times’s tankards for journalism.
The second latest article has a slightly more sensationalistic title, but the content is nearly the same. Although it is dated fifty years later than the first article, the story contains the same racist views displayed in the first article. In many ways, this 1933 article is slightly worse in terms of racial bias by the author as throughout the entire article, the victim, who is an African-American man, is constantly referred to simply as “the Negro.” Half the time, “the Negro” is substituted for the victim’s name and when the name is actually mentioned, “the Negro” always precedes it. Same as the first article, such distinctions on race reveal a bias in the author and could taint the reader’s view on the case. Also, the entire story is written as though the law had been carried out.
... for nothing but his own life. After hearing these stories, man is thought of as selfish, dishonest, and unable ... has done. Instead of being the victim as she was in her story, she is the one at ... story just as well as Tajomaru's, but she makes herself out to be the victim rather than her husband, the man ... who starts the fight among the man and Tajomaru. In this story, before the woman speaks, neither ...
In other words, the victim is never once referred as “the victim” and the lynching is never called a murder, simply a death. Subtleties in words such as the refusal in writing style to consider the lynching of an innocent man murder and the refusal to acknowledge that the slain man is a victim has a crucial effect on the perception of the reader. It also allows the writer to say, without actually showing opinion, his / her actual viewpoints on the story. The constant reminder that the lynched man was “a Negro” serves to plays down the magni tude of the crime. Such minimizing of events and underestimation of words can be seen to reveal the author’s viewpoint, which seems to be that such an event is insignificant.
At the end of the article, there is a brief section on other lynchings that have occurred during the past month. One of the lynchings supposedly took place despite “police guards and military troops armed with teargas bombs and tanks.” By making such a statement, the writer seems to be saying that the authorities had taken measures to prevent unlawful slayings, but at the same time, it also seems to be saying that the authorities did not care enough to stop a mob despite the fact that the authorities had such ammunition’s at hand. The author of the article never makes a point to explain how such lynchings had not been prevented despite the presence of authoritative figures. This second article, much like the first, is very much one-sided and not based on many facts. Although there is a use of direct quotes from a Sheriff, the entire story is based on what this one Sheriff said.
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There is no talk of finding the people who had murdered the victim; the Sheriff simply states that “there was no trace of those responsible for his (the victim’s) death.” Apart from these few words, there is no mention of the murderers. The article only continues to talk about the alleged attack the victim was accused for and acquitted for before the lynching. Because most of the focus in the article is about the alleged attack that the victim was accused for before the lynching, the article seems to be focused more on the supposed wrongdoings of the victim than the unlawful murder that took his life. The article continues to be one-sidedly biased in this way as the only sources mentioned is the Sheriff and a jailer.
There is no investigation mentioned relating to the finding of the people responsible for the lynching and there is no information regarding the views of the victim’s family or friends. The absence of the victim’s side of the story reveals the insignificance of it to the writer and possibly, to the readers of those times. The latest article, dated December 16, 1983, once again deals with interracial crime. Unlike the first two articles, the title of the 1983 article is appropriately titled “Officer Accused of Racial Assault.” There is no blatant use of racial terms, such as the word “Negro” which dominated the stories in the 1883 and 1933 articles. The entire article is completely devoid of such words as “Negro” or “colored man”, which were liberally sprinkled throughout the other two articles. This is probably because by 1983, people had come to acknowledge that the term “Negro” was offensive.
web describes the term “Negro” as being “sometimes offensive: a member of the black race distinguished from members of other races by usually inherited physical and physiological characteristics without regard to language or culture.” The 1983 article also differs from the first two articles by showing the victim’s side of the story. The writer makes use of direct quotes for a statement made by the victim’s attorney claiming that the attack on the victim was “racially motivated.” This crucial difference in between the 1983 article to the other two articles makes the 1983 article seem much more objective than the others. The statements provided by the victim’s attorney as well as the attacker’s attorney are given equal space and attention in the story, which serves to give both sides of the story. The article also gives information as to what is happening to the attacker in terms of lawful punishments and gives the story of what the victim was doing at the time of the attack, which are points of the story not illustrated in the other two articles.
... just make babies with different men. In the Old Story time book you can learn many thing life challenges, lessons ... The author Old Story Time, Trevor Rhone uses strategies for his readers to ... its culture like racism, the background, the music, the stories and etc. I've learned about how hard it ... Ben kept the secret. Racism affects anyone. But in this story, it affects Mama, Len, Pearl etc. The two ...
There is also a difference in wording between the 1983 article and the other two. Whereas the earlier two articles never referred to the murdered men as victims, the 1983 article acknowledges that the mean attacked was a victim, not simply a “colored man.” The only similarity found between the 1983 article and the other two are the fact that the 1983 article refers to the victim as the “black man” until the towards the end of the middle of the article. Only in the last sentence of the middle paragraph is the victim given a name. Also similar to the last two articles is the definite distinguishing between whites and blacks. This occurs as each character’s race is mentioned in the story, apart from the attorneys. This distinguishing of race in this case could be seen not as being racist, but necessary since the story is about a racially motivated crime.
Therefore, the reader should know whether or not the attacker was white and also if the attacker’s friend present in the attack was white as well. Throughout the span of a hundred years, issues such as racial crimes remain the same, but the handling and reporting of such crimes has changed significantly. This change can be seen not only as a difference in news coverage or the objectification of news, but also as a changing of ideals in people and society. In the time period of the earliest article, discrimination against African-Americans was most likely justified to the majority of the population, including the readers of the New York Times. Therefore, it was socially acceptable for a reporter to downplay the injustices done to African-Americans. In addition to this, in the earlier time periods, certain words, such as “Negro” were much more acceptable than they are today.
... mobile phone only. Victims under 18 were mainly targeted between the early afternoon at the time schools come out and early evening as youngsters ... in a street robbery" (Butterworths P 109). The article also says that crimes such as Burglary have in fact fallen by 9 ... thirteen years. What appears to have sparked this and other similar news items is the rise in mobile phone thefts. There ...
In a recent article in the New York Times, dated December 5, 2003, there is a story similar to the 1883, 1933, and 1983 articles. This 2003 article deals with a certain lynching in Duluth, an event similar to the one covered in the 1993 article, but written in a completely different way. The 2003 New York Times article begins by stating that “Among the nightmares… in the United States, none are more ghastly than the campaign of racial terror that gripped this country from the 1880’s to the 1930’s.” This beginning sentence for the 2003 article is fascinating when viewed in comparison to the indifference shown in regard to similar issues in the 1883 and 1933 articles. This 2003 article almost seems more subjective than the 1883 and 1933 articles since it obviously shows the journalist’s viewpoint that the racial terror between 1880 and 1930 was terrible.
But, when looking underneath the surface, the 1883 and 1933 articles are just as subjective. Although these two earlier articles do not comment openly on the tragedy of affairs, they do reveal a subjective viewpoint simply by choosing to cover some sources and completely emitting others. Also, in the earlier articles, the selection of certain words to describe African-Americans reveals a bias in the author. Overall, despite the changing of the news coverage methods and styles of writing, sadly, the contents of the newspaper, such as racially motivated crimes, seem to remain the same.