Yellow journalism is a type of journalism that presents no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers. Techniques may include scandal mongering or sensationalism. That according to Wikipedia.
A man is arrested for robbing a fastfood manager at gunpoint. A woman is arrested for escaping from police custody. Another man is arrested for a stabbing incident. A man is stabbed to death in his home.
These are all police cases within the past month.
All were reported in the Las Vegas Optic.
There is a glaring anomaly between the four cases.
Only the deceased had his criminal history reported. Not even did the person who took his life had their lengthy list of criminal charges listed.
Did the other people involved in the crimes listed above have no previous criminal history?
A mother, father, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, the entire family has lost a loved one.
What was accomplished by parading his past misdeeds before the populace? One thing was accomplished very well! Adding to the pain and anguish of the man’s family.
I am at a complete loss at the rationale behind this type of reporting.
As the article was written, it suggested to many people that: Wow! Good! Another criminal met his due fate. He was a bad person and his criminality was the cause of his death.
If this case ever comes to trial, I wonder who will be on trial. Las Vegas is a small town and the Las Vegas Optic is our main paper (medium). From a juror pool, how many will deny reading the article that detailed the dead man’s history. Will the prosecutors be able to seat an unbiased jury?
The Optic staff was queried about the decisions to present the article in this manner. Their reply? “It was a judgment call.” What type of judgment was this?
In my opinion this was a very flagrant case of yellow journalism! Pure sensationalism. And, readers, ask yourself honestly: Is this the first and only time the Las Vegas Optic has resorted to this type of reporting?
Boyce D. Pinkston