Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Does the Victim's Background Matter?

A United Airlines passenger was forcibly removed from a flight after a situation revolving around an overbooked plane.

In the follow-up stories, several news organizations pointed out that the passenger had a criminal record.

The New York Post noted that he is "a lung doctor with a taste for gambling, a history of angry outbursts — and a conviction for trading narcotics prescriptions and cash for gay sex in motels."

Is that information relevant to the story?

Or is that just salacious information that adds intrigue and controversy to the story of the man being dragged off the plane?

Does the background of the victim become part of the story, even if the incident was completely unrelated?

6 comments:

Jaylah said...

The background of the victim does not become part of the story because it was never relevant to the story. Whether or not the victim has a "taste for gambling" and a "history of angry outbursts", he should not have been handling in the manner that he was handled. All the media is doing is making a case for United Airlines. We see this whenever there is a new story about police brutality. The media digs up criminal records, school records, anything to demean the victim and subliminally undermine the wrongdoing.

Jonathan said...

Anything that involves the doctor's past is not part of the story. It has nothing to do with why he was chosen to get off the plane. That takes away from the real story which is, why did United not provide more accommodations until someone agreed to get off the plane?

Eliza Frey said...

I do not believe that the victim's background matters at all. We have all this knowledge about him just to try to alleviate the pressure the airline is feeling right now. a good journalist would not have brought this into the conversation.

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Johnterri Rivers-Maldonado said...

I feel like in this particular story the victim's background was totally unrelated to the story at hand. Although the doctor did in fact have a record his record wasn't the sole reason for him being thrown off the plan; it was the over population of the plan that made flight attendant signal him out.

However, often times a person's background can often be displayed in a news story when in fact their back ground has nothing to do with the story at all.

In this particular case the doctor and his criminal background had to already been well known for the flight attendant to single him out. Therefore the prominence inside the story provides a bigger impact on the audience.

Anonymous said...

Chynna Cummings said...
The background of the individual does not matter because it is unrelated to the story. The ethnicity or background of a person does not justify their story, it just adds irrelvant information that it shaped to be relvant.