Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Man dead, media silent
Many questions will be raised in the weeks to come, and whether they will be answered to the community's satisfaction, I don't know, but right now I just have one question: where the hell was the media? Four days passed and the Springfield Republican and our three television stations, WWLP 22, CBS 3 and ABC 40 were silent.
Now, there is no doubt that Mr. Ratcliff's death after an encounter with the Springfield police would be of immediate and great interest to the residents of Springfield. Since November numerous accusations of police brutality that have rolled through this city starting with the beating of Melvin Jones III by Springfield police which was recorded on a cellphone. Much has happened since then, including the firing of two police officers just yesterday. Masslive.
But the media was silent for four days, until today, when member of the African-American Clergy Alliance and family members of Clyde Ratcliff paid an unannounced visit to Mayor Domenic Sarno. . Someone told me that the night Mr. Ratcliff died, Channel 40 did a preview of upcoming news and said something about a man chased by police who had crashed his car-- but that no news story ever followed. I didn't see that for myself and if anyone knows of any media coverage of Mr. Ratcliff's death that took place before today, I'd like to know. I do know for sure that the Republican wrote nothing, and before this evening, found nothing on the local stations..
Now, just how does something like that happen?
It could be incompetence, but how does incompetence happen to affect one newspaper and three TV stations at the same time?
How does the media get this kind of news? Obviously police scanners play a role. What other ways is information communicated? Did all these methods break down at the same time?
Or was the media asked to sit on this story for a while?