Dyson_newsstory April 15, 2013 Is Patriots' Day Essay

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Dyson_NewsStory April 15, 2013 is Patriots' Day in Massachusetts, and a particularly notable day in Boston because of the running of the marathon. Local news coverage in the morning consisted of pre-race interviews with runners and spectators. By mid-afternoon, tragically, the focus had shifted from the elite athletes and their sport to the explosions that killed two and injured many others. The explosions occurred before millions of people, both those at the scene and those watching on television in the Boston area, where the entire event is covered live.

Reporters spoke rapidly in excited voices. There were reporters at the scene and in the studio. They all struggled to make sense of what happened and tried to relay to viewers what little information was known. At first, there was speculation that the explosions were an accident, but it soon became apparent that small bombs were detonated deliberately to disrupt the event and cause grievous harm. Additional explosive devices were found. The local news station was getting its information from Associated Press and relaying it, as fast as it could, to viewers.

In his essay, "Frames of Reference," Michael Eric Dyson discussed the way media outlets framed black and white victims of Hurricane Katrina. He pointed out, for example, a report that a black youth had gotten food by looting a grocery store, while...

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Dyson elaborated on the difference, explaining that the black youth was framed as a criminal, while the white couple (who also took food from a closed store) were merely doing what they had to do to survive. The difference is both profound and sad, as it perpetuates the racial stereotype of a black youth as a criminal.
New Orleans and Boston are very different cities with respect to their culture and demographics. New Orleans is in the Deep South and still retains vestiges of the racial prejudice that has blighted the nation even after the Civil War. It is not to say that racial prejudice does not exist in Boston, but it is not as much of an issue as in New Orleans, if for no other reason than that Boston is predominantly white, as is typical of New England. Thus, the interviews and news footage of witnesses mainly feature whites, since whites comprised many among the runners and the spectators.

Nearby Cambridge is home to Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both world-class institutions. The Boston area is well-known for its colleges and universities as well as for its medical centers; all these institutions attract talent from all over the world. While one would probably not call Boston a diverse city when compared to someplace like New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago, it is one…

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Work Cited

Dyson, Michael Eric. "Frames of Reference."

"Breaking News." CBS-Boston Affiliate. WBZ, Boston. 15 April 2013. Television.


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