Recently Touré  and CNN’s Piers Morgan had a Twitter and later an on air smack down over the Trayvon Martin murder case. Touré took exception with how Piers interviewed George Zimmerman’s brother on his show and tweeted during the broadcast, “Piers did not challenge Robert Zimmerman the way a professional journalist should.”  Touré tweeted more calling Piers unprofessional and adding that Zimmerman’s brother’s telling of the night of the shooting made no sense. There was more tweeting between the two and before the night was over Toure’ was a twerp and Piers was damaging America and the two made a date to hash it out on Piers’ show. Welcome to journalism 2012 where opinion is often dispensed as fact and social media, blogging and  has given everyone a shot at journalism whether you went to school or not and ratings drive coverage, often, over a cliff. I wonder what kind of ratings Piers got the night of his showdown with Toure’?

I for one have mixed feelings about this fragmentation of journalism especially newspapers but I like that stories that once would have gotten no attention, such as the murder of Martin, now have to be covered by the mainstream media who either cover it or get left behind by the other networks. I don’t, however, like the fact that this same news media can just plain overdo things such as some of the coverage on the Trayvon Martin case.

If you followed this case even just a little by now it feels old and tired. As you know there is a danger in trying this case in the media and many of the pitfalls have already revealed themselves such as the newly formed George Zimmerman Fund to help his legal defense and the vilifying of a teenager who like many other 17-year-olds was just trying to figure it all out. The push back is already beginning with some black people saying well why aren’t we more outraged at the countless killing of black men and boys all the time. I can’t answer that except to say that Martin may have been the tipping point but I will say that this outrage should be spread to future unjust murders of black men and boys. And a good dose of it spread to eradicating poverty, fighting for equal rights for all and a plethora of other daily injustices.

I’m reminded of another rush to judgement, the Duke LaCrosse case. At the time I was working for the News & Observer in Raleigh, NC and we were cautioned NOT to rush to convict in the pages of the newspaper but that didn’t stop the full-on assault in the media and when it all turned out to be a hoax by the accuser, mostly everyone in media had egg on their face.

Let me be clear I’m for justice for Trayvon, I just worry that the longer it’s played out in the media the better Zimmerman will look and the fact that an unarmed teenager was shot twice will get lost in all the other crap and that would be a crying shame.

Posted by Libergirl