The needler in the haystack.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Why people get upset with media coverage of Plainfield



Three recent stories in the papers illustrate why Plainfield residents get upset with media coverage of Plainfield.

The first, from the Echoes-Sentinel, concerns the issuing of a summons to a driver from Plainfield for snow on their car roof while driving in Long Hill Township.

We all know there is a rule about snow on car roofs, but how many times have you heard of someone being busted for it? And having their name put in the newspaper -- as the lead item in a police blotter roundup story? Are we supposed to believe this was the only car in the township that day with snow on its roof?

I didn't recognize the name of the individual, but I wondered if it was a case of "driving while Black" in lovely Long Hill.

Today comes a story in the Courier (see here) that a K9 sweep of lockers and student cars at Ridge High in Bernards Township found weed and prescription pills in a student's car.

The student, who is over the age of 18 and therefore an adult, remained delicately unnamed in the story. Additionally, it says the amount of weed was small enough to be treated as a disorderly persons offense, but the pills could be an indictable offense. The story does not state at all whether the student was arrested or given a summons. My presumption is the student is white.

Now, let me ask you: If this were a Plainfield student, would their name have been mentioned by the media if they were over the age of 18? And their address? And would there have been a photo? And maybe a "perp walk"?

And let's not forget that just this past Monday the Courier ran a story (see here), listing Plainfield as the 11th most dangerous town in New Jersey -- making it "the most dangerous" in the Courier's service area. What good purpose did that serve?

So, even though we haven't been treated recently to rehashes by the media of the 1967 riot (thank God!), there still seems to be a subtle racism about how our community is portrayed by the media.

Or am I wrong?



  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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5 comments:

Plainfield Fanatic said...

Dan, You are right on point!!! I actually thought it was worse in the 70's, 80's and 90's and stopped buying newspapers for this reason.

Virginia said...

Oh no ,you're not wrong .Our PR has been bad since 1967 ! And visitors still say when they come to my house ;"Is this Plainfield ?!"

Anonymous said...

No and that is why Muhlenberg was closed. It was successful in a minority community even though it served one of the most diverse communities over three counties.

Chris Ryan said...

the Courier's story listing Plainfield as the 11th most dangerous town in New Jersey maybe inaccurate.

I found this online
http://www.homesecurityshield.org/news/most-dangerous-in-new-jersey/2/

And Plainfield wasnt in the top 15. Plus who is Movato real estate to be the official voice of NJ when they in Cali. I love my city don't rep it wrong.

Sergio Bichao said...

Dan, the Ridge student was not named because police did not give us her name -- even though they should have. If they had given us her name, I would have published it -- just like I publish all the names of the rich white kids (and immature adults) who get busted for public urination, drunkeness and drugs at the Far Hills race every year.

I understand Plainfield's sensitivity. But keep in mind that the Courier and MyCentralJersey.com don't shy from covering lots of "good" things about the city.

For example, (and I think most if not all of these made your CLIPS):

- Plainfield Symphony Orchestra to play Feb. 21 http://mycj.co/1yM9xbQ

- Pingry junior from Plainfield is student ambassador for China program http://mycj.co/19ohRKa

- Plainfield singer advances in ‘American Idol’ http://mycj.co/1CAMCT7

- Plainfield lineman Carter will begin "new chapter' at Syracuse http://mycj.co/1JmzWbt

- Obama meets mayors of Plainfield, Piscataway http://mycj.co/17bfKb5

I assure you there is no subtle racism or conspiracy on our part. But I'm always willing to hear what Plainfielders have to say.