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Identity & Community

The Media’s Role in Ferguson

Peter Kirkeskov Rasmussen

We close our discussion of the Ferguson decision with Jeff Ritter, Department Chair of Communications at La Roche College. He explains how social media has been an amplifier of positive and negative information throughout the proceedings.

Ritter says that the story produced a “feeding frenzy” for the mainstream news media, and while social media enabled average people to have a voice, the result was a glut of information -- not all of which was constructive or factual.

"It’s always easy to criticize the media," Ritter acknowledges, but in the Ferguson case, they did some things right. Media have done a good job of paying attention to the story and picking it up based on the interest of the Ferguson community, he says, although sometimes useful and factual information has been lacking.