It’s not secret the media coverage of the Ferguson shooting didn’t reveal a complete and honest picture of the incident. Eventually many “untold” stories about the incident began to pop up. But no one has discussed the untold story about the cost and the profitability of the incident. This story is important because the profitability in particular reveals the community’s engagement in the incident.
The Huffington Post did a series on “The Untold Story” of Ferguson. It shed light on the positive outcome of a tragedy like this shooting.
“The media’s job is to report not all that’s dreadful, corrupt, dysfunctional and violent in our world but what’s working, and the powerful and humane ways people in communities respond to that violence and corruption and dysfunction, “ Arianna Huffington said in the post.
It seems that the media, whether American or foreign, ignored this part of Ferguson’s story.
The impact of the Ferguson shooting has extended beyond the newsroom and into our wallets. The story prompted a worldwide discussion of multiple issues, most notably race and the media’s unfair coverage of it. And this division not only cost a lot, but also resulted in ways to make profit. It is estimated that the police response to this incident has cost taxpayers $5.7 million, according to the Washington Times. Zazzle.com created Ferguson merchandise with sayings like “I love Ferguson” and a group even started a GoFundMe account to raise funds for Officer Darren Wilson, who resigned after he shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. The page raised approximately $235,000 dollars in support of Wilson.
But the media didn’t highlight these stories. This gave readers an incomplete picture of Ferguson. What were the positive things happening in response to a tragedy? How did the community support each other? What did this say about the community? These were the stories neglected by the media. But it seems through merchandise (whether for or against the incident at hand) and fundraisers, the community wanted to tell these stories when the media didn’t.
By Tamara Kraus, Evaldas Labanauskas, Armen Sargsyan