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Missing White Woman: Race bias in media coverage of missing persons – WYPR



If you haven’t heard the latest news about the search for Gabby Petito, and the boyfriend with whom she was last seen, that information is not hard to come by. Ms. Petito and her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, embarked on a cross country trip in June. Ms. Petito was in touch with her parents throughout the summer until the end of August, when her communication stopped. Her parents reported her missing on September 11th. Brian Laundrie returned to his parents’ home three days later, without Ms. Petito, and refused to speak with authorities. Ms. Petito’s remains were found in Wyoming on September 19th. Brian Laundrie left his parents’ home on September 14, and his whereabouts remain unknown. The FBI has issued a federal arrest warrant for him.

More than a half a million people were reported missing in 2020. By the end of that year, about 89,000 missing person cases were active, and nearly 45% of those cases were people of color. But naming any of those victims based on news accounts of their fates is nearly impossible. Baltimoreans may remember the case of Phylicia Barnes, a young African American woman from North Carolina who was killed while visiting MD, and a missing Asian American woman, Lauren Cho, has attracted some media attention, but Gabby Petito, Natalee Holloway, Chandra Levy, Laci Peterson and others who have become national household names are White, and the vast majority of women and girls of color who are missing remain far outside the media spotlight.

In 2004, the late PBS News Anchor Gwen Ifill coined the term, “Missing White Woman Syndrome,” referring to the fact that White women who are reported missing are much more likely to have their stories covered. Today on Midday, we’ll examine this phenomenon, and explore why the coverage of missing people of color is so disproportionate.

We begin with two scholars who study this issue. Dr. Danielle Slakoff is an assistant professor of Criminal Justice at Sacramento State University whose research focuses on media and crime. Dr. Slakoff joins us on Zoom from Sacramento…

And Zach Sommers is an attorney with the firm of Kirkland and Ellis. He’s also a criminologist who has studied the nexus of criminal law, race and the news media. He joins us on Zoom from Chicago.

Later in the hour, we’re joined by Natalie Wilson, who, along with her sister-in-law, Derrica Wilson, is a co-founder of The Black and Missing Foundation, a DC-based organization that works to bring media attention to cases involving missing persons of color. Natalie Wilson also joins us on Zoom, from Washington DC.


Dr. Danielle Slakoff, assoc. prof. criminal law, Cal. State/Sacramento; Zach Sommers, attorney with Kirkland & Ellis, LLP; and Natalie Wilson, Black and Missing Foundation.

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Facebook, YouTube take down Bolsonaro video over false vaccine claim



Facebook and YouTube have removed from their platforms a video by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in which the far-right leader made a false claim that COVID-19 vaccines were linked with developing AIDS.

Both Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s YouTube said the video, which was recorded on Thursday, violated their policies.

“Our policies don’t allow claims that COVID-19 vaccines kill or seriously harm people,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement on Monday.

YouTube confirmed that it had taken the same step later in the day.

“We removed a video from Jair Bolsonaro’s channel for violating our medical disinformation policy regarding COVID-19 for alleging that vaccines don’t reduce the risk of contracting the disease and that they cause other infectious diseases,” YouTube said in a statement.

According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), COVID-19 vaccines approved by health regulators are safe for most people, including those living with HIV, the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, known as AIDS.

Bolsonaro’s office did not respond immediately to a request for comment outside normal hours.

In July, YouTube removed videos from Bolsonaro’s official channel in which he recommended using hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin against COVID-19, despite scientific proof that these drugs are not effective in treating the disease.

Since then, Bolsonaro has avoided naming both drugs on his live broadcasts, saying the videos could be removed and advocating “early treatment” in general for COVID-19.

Bolsonaro, who tested positive for the coronavirus in July last year, had credited his taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, for his mild symptoms. While Bolsonaro himself last January said that he wouldn’t take any COVID-19 vaccine, he did vow to quickly inoculate all Brazilians.

In addition to removing the video, YouTube has suspended Bolsonaro for seven days, national newspapers O Estado de S. Paulo and O Globo reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.

YouTube did not respond to a separate Reuters request for comment regarding the suspension on Monday night.

(Reporting by Pedro Fonseca in Rio de Janeiro; Additional reporting by Gram Slattery in Rio de Janeiro and Anthony Boadle in Brasilia; Writing by Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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Somali drama wins Pan-African film festival grand prize



Somalia‘s entry “The Gravedigger’s Wife” by Finish-Somali writer-director Khadar Ayderus Ahmed won the prestigious Stallion of Yennenga grand prize for best film at the Pan-African film festival in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on Sunday.

The poignant drama about a gravedigger’s struggles to raise money to pay for his wife’s surgery, took home the 20 million franc CFA ($35,714) prize money and the golden stallion statue.

The film, which was Somalia’s first official entry for the Best International Feature Film category at the 2021 Academy Awards, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in July.

Ahmed, who was not in Ouagadougou to collect his prize, has previously said the film was inspired by incidents that happened in his family.

Mauritanian film director Abderrahmane Sissako, who chaired the jury for the 17 feature films in the competition, told Reuters that it was a courageous movie from a country which does not make a lot of films. “So when there is a film such as this one from there, it should be encouraged.”

“It is a beautiful film that tells a story with humanity. It is a love story also,” Sissako said after the ceremony presided over Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal and Roch Marc Kabore of Burkina Faso.

The Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou, known as Fespaco, is the largest biannual meeting of African cinema which attracts international and African cinema and television professionals from the continent and the diaspora to the Burkinabe capital.

This 27th edition was postponed by nearly eight months to Oct. 16-23, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and security challenges the country is facing.

($1 = 560.0000 CFA francs)


(Reporting by Anne Mimault and Thiam Ndiaga; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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Media Literacy Week – The Manitoba Teachers' Society – The Manitoba Teachers' Society



October 25, 2021

Be Media Smart
Media Literacy Week Oct.25 to 30

According to a Statistics Canada poll (Canadian Perspectives Survey Series, conducted from Sept. 14 to Sept. 20, 2020) four in 10 Canadians were spending more time on social media and messaging services (41 per cent) since the onset of the pandemic.

Young Canadians aged 15 to 34 (57 per cent) were most likely to have increased their use of social media and messaging services.

As a result, this year’s Media Literacy Week aims to put the spotlight on the essential digital literacy skills needed by today’s digital citizens.

Hosted by MediaSmarts, Canada’s centre for digital and media literacy, the annual event invites all Canadians – teachers, students, seniors, community groups, libraries and museums – to celebrate by engaging in digital media literacy activities.

To celebrate the week, MediaSmarts has also created five themed days with free resources anyone can use and a Media Literacy Week Teachers’ Hub with curated lessons and activities for students from kindergarten to Grade 12.

MediaSmarts is also hosting A Conversation About Researching Digital Media Literacy in Canada, which will bring together academics to discuss researching digital media literacy in Canada on Thursday, October 28 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

Media Literacy Week is run in partnership with the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF/FCE) and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO).

Canada’s 16th annual Media Literacy Week runs from Oct. 25 to 30.

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