Why Words Matter in Media Coverage

May 12, 2015

Credit via Wikimedia user Veggies

A term used to describe protesters in Baltimore is ruffling some feathers. Some are saying that "thug" is now synonymous with the n-word. Missouri School of journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean discuss the implications of the term on the weekly media criticism program, "Views of the News." 

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The panel said it's interesting that such controversy is raised over one word instead of the bigger issue at hand. McKean said that with the way social media is he isn't surprised that people stir the pot over details in order to draw attention to the main discussion, but Perry highlights the problem within that methodology. 

"But you have to move past that, and the problem is more often than not on these cable shows they don't move past the conversation of the word itself."

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary "thug" is defined as a violent criminal.