Media “discovers” Jena Six 30 seconds after Sharpton, Jackson

By Guest Columnist Aug 06, 2007

This first appeared at Too Sense. dnA writes: Last week, I came to the realization that the relationship between the Media’s interest in a story about racial inequality is directly proportional to the degree that Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson is involved. Simply put, while the two above men are often derided as camera chasers, it is perhaps more accurate to say that the cameras chase them. The New Orleans Times-Picayune has its first and only article on the Jena Six dated August 2, the subject of which is Sharpton’s impending visit to Louisiana, and noting Jesse Jackson’s comments. Despite being a four hour drive from Jena, the editors at the Times-Picayune decided they’d leave this one to the Associated Press:

JENA, La. (AP) — Rev. Al Sharpton will speak in a Jena church on Sunday in support of six black students — some still facing attempted murder charges in connection with the beating of a white school mate. Sharpton is scheduled to speak at the Trout Creek Baptist Church in Jena Sunday. The Rev. Jesse Jackson, calling the charges against the six black teens known as the "Jena Six" "disgraceful" said he was coming to Jena to spread a message of "reconciliation rather than retaliation."

Of course, the BBC, which is a news organization based in an entirely different country across the Atlantic Ocean, felt the story of the Jena Six was newsworthy three months ago. Louisiana’s biggest paper decided to do a story only after they found out Jesse and Al were going to show up. The Washington Post has given the best coverage of the event so far in the American mainstream media, but their first real article on the subject comes two days after the announcement of Sharpton and Jacksons’ visit. Finish here.