A simple word change can make a difference.

Catching up on the local news today, I read about a teenager (18) who has been showing nude photos to under age people and allegedly also molested 2 others. 


The first article -from a local CNN affiliate- I ran into said:


A Henderson teen is under arrest, charged with statutory rape, sexually battery and a probation violation.The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint about 18-year-old Westley Aaron Williams, of Fletcher, showing nude pictures to minors. The special victims unit said during the investigation they learned that Williams had sexually assaulted two juveniles. Williams is being held in the Henderson County Detention Facility on $ 35,000 bond.


[ARTICLE 1]


To see if I could find more information, I went to the local Fox news station:


HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. -- A Fletcher teen was arrested Thursday, accused of sexually assaulting two children and showing nude pictures to others.Deputies said they received a complaint about 18-year-old Westley Williams showing nude photographs to children. They said, during the investigation, they determined that Williams had also sexually assaulted two children.Williams was charged with statutory rape, violation of probation and two counts of sexual battery. He was being held at the Henderson County jail on $35,000 bond.

[ARTICLE 2]

 

Words used in writing can convey a meaning or an emotion. As you read, certain familiar images may pop into your head creating your own view of the scene. The first article used the words juvenile and minors to describe the victims. As I read, I was thinking that maybe he's just some 18 year old kid sending his 16 year old girl/boyfriend some naughty pictures and some how was caught. It could be a case of just innocent fun between the boy and some teenager girls at a party. The parents flip out and press charged. It happens. I was not so quick to pass judgement as I would be in some cases.

 

The second news article used the word children. My thoughts immediately changed. Children? Now, exactly how old were these children. See to me, the word children means exactly that. It gives me a totally different mental picture. It makes me think of someone who is around elementary school age. By the time a person reaches junior high level, they know about sex and are [hopefully] informed but are still not [and should not] considered consenting adults. The word juvenile or minor would be more appropriate for this age group.

 

Now, until the ages are released or more information is known, we cannot tell which news station is being misleading. However, these news writers should take the meaning of words into consideration when they are writing. Things like this can completely ruin a person's character and reputation.  [My cousin is in a similar situation and is being wrongly accused.] Sadly, these type of "goofs" by the media is a very common occurrence.

 

In my honest and biased opinion, I have a feeling it will be Fox news.

Views: 109

Tags: bias, changing, cnn, fox, meaning, news, word

Comment by Scarlette Blues on April 2, 2011 at 4:00pm
On the video, it would be a cold day in hell before that video was played at my high school much less junior high. My sex ed classes were rather prudish and used very old and corny material to teach us with. There's still a controversy about teaching abstinence or teaching contraceptive. That too goes back to religious feelings.

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