Craig Franklin, assistant editor of the Jena, Mississippi Times, has a piece in the Christian Science Monitor about how the national media got it all wrong when following the "Jena 6" case, in which black students were charged with beating a white student.
By now, almost everyone in America has heard of Jena, La., because they've all heard the story of the "Jena 6." White students hanging nooses barely punished, a schoolyard fight, excessive punishment for the six black attackers, racist local officials, public outrage and protests—the outside media made sure everyone knew the basics.
There's just one problem: The media got most of the basics wrong. In fact, I have never before witnessed such a disgrace in professional journalism. Myths replaced facts, and journalists abdicated their solemn duty to investigate every claim because they were seduced by a powerfully appealing but false narrative of racial injustice.
I should know. I live in Jena. My wife has taught at Jena High School for many years. And most important, I am probably the only reporter who has covered these events from the very beginning….
These are just 12 of many myths that are portrayed as fact in the media concerning the Jena cases. (A more thorough review of all events can be found at http://www.thejenatimes.net/—click on Chronological Order of Events.)
As with the Duke Lacrosse case, the truth about Jena will eventually be known. But the town of Jena isn't expecting any apologies from the media. They will probably never admit their error and have already moved on to the next "big" story. Meanwhile in Jena, residents are getting back to their regular routines, where friends are friends regardless of race. Just as it has been all along.
In September, Katherine Mangu-Ward laid out "Five Facts about the Jena Six".
Hat tip: The Corner.