For weeks, we've heard Trayvon Martin's story, but few attempts have been made to give George Zimmerman the same treatment. Now that Zimmerman has been charged and released on bail, Reuters has given us a more comprehensive view of his recent history. I appreciated this view of Zimmerman, but I have a question:
Why the delay?
With the speed of communication technology these days, I don't think Reuters had to do a lot of research for their Zimmerman piece, certainly not as long as they took to release this piece. A quick Google search shows Reuters spent a lot of time mentioning Martin's name in various contexts, but very little directly about Zimmerman himself. When mentioned, it was rarely before mentioning Martin's name.
So, why the change of heart? Because their media malpractice has already done its damage.
This is a game the mainstream media play on its consumers: report a story one way until their desired effect is reached, then do a story on the other side so they can claim to give balanced coverage of the story. Of course, the magnitude of coverage blows that notion out of the water to anyone paying attention. If 99% of your coverage is devoted to one side and 1% is devoted to the other, there is no balance, only advocacy.
A nice effort, Reuters, but too little, too late to avoid being guilty of media malpractice.