Trayvon Martin: Media should address the real issues

By on July 29, 2013
ForumOpinion

Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman are two names that everyone in America has heard constantly for the past month. Every news channel, newspaper, magazine and radio station seems to have kept the country up-to date on every minor development in the state of Florida’s case against George Zimmerman.

Since Zimmerman was acquitted last Saturday night, instead of slowly dialing down the news’ coverage of both Trayvon Martin’s family and George Zimmerman’s life before the killing, coverage has increased. Any miniscule detail is presented as “Breaking News.”

I understand the public outrage over the killing of Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman followed and shot the seventeen year-old. Regardless of who threw the first punch, Zimmerman should not have killed Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman was carrying a gun and hence, knew that he had an advantage over Martin. However, the wording of the Florida law justified the acquittal of George Zimmerman.

As long as the law that allowed Zimmerman to walk away free is not changed, the angry people protesting are missing the point. People are shot every day in the thousands of cities across the country. Surely George Zimmerman is not the only one who has not faced jailed time for taking someone’s life. Unfortunately, since the law was on his side, it is likely that what happened to Trayvon will happen again.

“…we Americans should force the media focus on the real problems presented.”
The media is responsible for the direction that the public’s anger has taken. They have the power to steer the national mood and thereby, it’s opinion. But rather than focus on problems with violence and gun control, media outlets such as CNN and Fox continue to dedicate large amounts of coverage to the Trayvon Martin case, bringing up race and other issues that do not address the underlying problems of our legal system. Their ratings must have skyrocketed since the trial began, which is probably why media outlets have continued to sensationalize every detail of the case.

I haven’t even brought up how the media has managed to make the coup in Egypt seem relatively insignificant to the killing of Trayvon Martin. Again, do not get me wrong. I think that Martin’s death was a tragedy, but does the media give that much coverage to every person shot in America? No. Only this case was sensationalized and brought into the spotlight, but for the wrong reasons.

On the other hand, three years ago when the Arab Spring began, all Americans could talk about was the need for reformation and change in the Middle East for the stability of not only the region itself, but for the stability of the whole world. Now that it is evident that the military is in control of Egypt’s fate, Americans seem too distracted to notice or care. Does the average American care enough to contemplate the implications of Morsi being overthrown? Evidently not. If we really cared, we would have protested the paucity of media coverage of Egypt.

My point is that [we] Americans should force the media focus on the real problems presented to us, and not use one man as the scapegoat for a deed that many others have committed. We should all stop and think about what the media is telling us and whether they’re overlooking important issues.

Our real fight should be against the laws that have allowed so many innocent lives to be taken over the past few years. We should remember that important events could be happening outside of our borders too. After all, the world does not revolve around America, even if we like to think so.

Natasha Mehra
Staff Writer
nmehra16@uab.edu

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  • Heath

    The Lone Ranger was a much better and more entertaining film than most critics gave it credit for. It’s a shame more haven’t seen it ’cause it’s a lot of fun on the big screen.

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