Crimes in Oak Cliff

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by WFAA

wfaa.com

Posted on May 21, 2010 at 5:56 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 2 at 12:15 PM

Q: It's interesting how your station reports crime locations in Dallas. If a crime is committed in Oak Cliff or South Dallas, your news team always makes it a point to say "Oak Cliff" or "South Dallas" in the broadcast.

But, strangely, if the crime is committed in North Dallas, your news reporter gives the street as the location. Rarely, if ever, do we hear the term "North Dallas" in connection with a crime that happens in North Dallas.

And rarely do we hear ONLY the street name when the crime is committed on the south side.

For example, today on your news broadcast just before the 7:30 break, a female newscaster told about a crime at "Walnut Hill and Shady Grove" (no mention of "North Dallas"). Just a few seconds later, she related a crime that was committed in "South Oak Cliff."

Does your station want viewers to believe that most crime is committed in South Dallas or South Oak Cliff? Why do they hardly ever say "North Dallas" (instead of merely mentioning the street) when the crime is in North Dallas? Why the bias?
Many viewers have notices this heavy bias in crime reporting on your station.

Mike

A: Sorry you feel that way, as that is not our intent.  To your question, let us assure you that there is no bias here.

In the end labels are designed to paint pictures in the minds of viewers and aid in the process of helping them understand information about any given news story.  We certainly have used the term “North Dallas” to help describe a location, just as we have West Dallas, East Dallas, Oak Cliff, South Oak Cliff and so on.  The intent is only to aid in the process of describing a specific location with no bearing whatsoever on any of the politics that may go along with a particular region.

We appreciate your point of view, and the comments — however, please know that there is no agenda or malicious intent at play here insofar as describing areas for any reason other than simply telling details about a story.

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