Residents of Grand Rapids’ South East Side to Rally for Fair Media Coverage

A protest is planned outside of the headquarters of Grand Rapids media outlet WOOD TV 8 in response to their highly sensationalized and negative story about residents of Grand Rapids southeast side.

A gathering of concerned citizens will take place in front of the Channel 8 News studio on College Avenue SE (120 College Ave. SE) to request balanced and fair media coverage of their neighborhoods. The rally is in response to the news story series run by News 8 on South East side violence, which to many residents falsely showcases the neighborhoods of this area as dangerous places to live, disregarding the breadth of positive work being done by area neighbors, and the many assets available in these communities.

There is also deep concern for the negative impact that the news series has and will have on property values in South East side neighborhoods, the image of this area of the city, the morale of the citizens who are actively engaged in positive community development work, and perhaps most importantly, the negative image of African-American males in urban communities.

While community members have long sought to attract media attention for events that exemplify the beauty and strong sense of community in South East side neighborhoods, the media has instead chosen to focus centrally on crimes and violence, giving the many positive efforts and successes in the area very little air time.

The citizens will be rallying to demand that Channel 8 do a four-part series highlighting the positive elements of the South East side neighborhoods, and that in the future Channel 8 devote at least as much air time to positive community events as is given to reports of violence and crimes.

The three WOOD TV 8 stories are available online (1, 2, 3) as is additional research on crime coverage in the local media.

Author: mediamouse

Grand Rapids independent media //