“The Mercy Of Media: How to destroy a black athlete?”


                                                    Media Agenda


The media has a responsibility to publish stories fairly, and not just for views. This has not always been the case for Black men in the media. Plenty examples can be found in the NFL, for instance Mike Vick, Ray Rice , and Ben Roethlisberger. Mike Vick , and Ray Rice cases stand out like a sour thumb being played on the air thousands of times until the general population and casual sports fans begin to hate them. Vick abused and killed dogs, Ray Rice was filmed beating his wife , but the White QB who accused of Raping three different women hardly gets air play. Does it seem like there is a Hidden agenda against black athletes.

In 2015 NFL Football Player Ray Rice was amidst of a domestic violence case that became the primary example of spousal abuse in recent history since the Chris Brown, and singer Rihanna fiasco. Ray Rice was charged with domestic violence in Nevada, and was punished by the NFL with a suspension of two games. The story of Ray Rice domestic violence was rarely reported, and only sport fans may have followed the story. However six months later TMZ news was able to get a copy of the video of Ray Rice punching his then Fiancé Janay Rice. The video was very disturbing, a cruel display of abuse. After the beating Ray, drugged his unconscious fiancé out of the elevator until he was stopped by security.  The major question asked after the video was released is why he was only suspended for two games. The NFL replied that they were not able to actually see the footage. The cased had been settled criminally, and Ray was set to serve no jail time only probation.

           Was It necessary to air the video

There were many public opinions on rather the video should have been released. In the past things of this nature would not have been aired on television on a constant loop. This footage is not for the weak stomached, and the story became an extravaganza for weeks becoming known as the Ray Rice Scandal.” For reasons now difficult to understand, mentioning certain diseases and disabilities was considered poor taste in days past. It was considered improper to call attention to the fact that President Franklin D. Roosevelt used a wheelchair and that he could not stand unaided. No one wrote about his physical condition—the result of polio—and no one photographed FDR in ways that would reveal his disability.” Melvin Mencher’s News Reporting and Writing, Ch. 26

There wasn’t many supporters left for Ray Rice, but there was one Janay Rice his fiancé. Janay did interviews in support of her now husband stating that he made a mistake, and the airing of the video actually hurt. “Janay Rice, 26, has used that spotlight to staunchly defend her husband and their relationship and to decry the decision to ban him from the NFL for hitting her.

“To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his a** off for all his life just to gain ratings is a horrific [sic]. THIS IS OUR LIFE!” she wrote in an Instagram posted today.

She repeated her defense of her husband today in a brief interview with ESPN, saying, “I love my husband. I support him. I want people to respect our privacy in this family matter.”

Keeping information private is a key dynamic in being a reporter. When taking on big stories there will be instances a person does not want to be identified. Often occasions news presentations will show a person with their face covered along with an altered voice. In many scenarios citizens want their identity protected. In some cases when there may be illegal activity or the interviewer may know information that can solve a crime. Breach of confidentiality is needed, however one a reporter is known for telling who their sources are, and it would be very hard to earn a story that someone wanted their identity to remain hidden.

“Few courts have addressed whether a confidential news source may sue the press for breaching a promise not to disclose the identity of the source.(FN101) Some courts have decided contract law does not apply to the reporter-source relationship.(FN102) These promises of confidentiality may contain all the essential elements — offer, acceptance, and consideration — of a valid contract.(FN103) Nevertheless, the courts have found reporter-source confidentiality agreements do not create a contractual right enforceable by a source.(FN104) The courts recognize a distinction between a contract and a moral commitment.(FN105) The news reporters and the sources assume the risk and can only be protected by good faith.(FN106) The reporter and source do not ordinarily believe their agreement will be subject to the formal rules of contract law.(FN107) Rather, they understand the promise of confidentiality as a moral commitment but such a commitment cannot support a claim for breach of contract.(FN108) Thus, the source is left without a remedy for breach of contract if the reporter later discloses the source’s identity.(FN109) (Evans, K. a. (2006).

Reporting has changed dramatically in the last 60 years , in today’s world airing domestic violence videos are able to be aired on television without many people being appealed , however the video many not needed to be released to the general public. The video being released went on to do more damage to the family emotionally to the wife, and financially to Ray rice. However the video shed light on domestic violence in the nation, and may go on to do more positive in the nation. Now Ray Rice is a public spokesperson for behavior to Rookie NFL Players, and his wife his Spokesperson for spousal abuse. This can help increase awareness around the country about how to prevent domestic violence or what to do once it happens.

“There was other news stations that reported the manor with the severity that everyone needed to know about the video.

TMZ Sports posted the video Monday showing Rice and Palmer entering an elevator. Inside the elevator, Rice punches Palmer. Palmer lunges after Rice, and then Rice hits her again and she falls to the floor.

Previously, TMZ Sports had released hotel surveillance video of Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer out of the elevator. This is the first time video has been released that shows Rice punching her.

A few months after the incident, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Rice without pay and fined him an additional game check for “conduct detrimental to the NFL.”

However, no one in the NFL offices, including Goodell, had seen the newly released footage of the incident until Monday, the league told CNN.” Darren Rovell Sep 9, 2014


Journalist had a big influence in how this story was portrayed, if the decision was made to protect Janay and that it is actually embarrased to display domestic violence on television, and not aired the video the story would not have been so big. On the other hand domestic violence is a serious situation, and the spotlight should be brought to attention. Being offended is relative.











Evans, K. a. (2006). Ventura v. The Cincinnati Enquirer: The Sixth Circuit Correctly Determined a News Reporter’s Disclosure of a Confidential News Source’s Criminal Acts to Law Enforcement Was Absolutely Privileged, but the Court Improperly Ignored Whether the Confidentiality. Creighton Law Review, 39(4), 961-1018.

Melvin Mencher’s News Reporting and Writing, Ch. 26

Jill Martin and Steve Almasy, CNN Tue September 16, 2014, Ray Rice terminated by team, suspended by NFL after new violent video

Darren Rovell Sep 9, 2014 Ray Rice’s Nike Contract Canceled Over Punch Video

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