In central Iowa, off of Interstate 80, there is a little town called Brooklyn. Eight weeks ago, if you googled, ‘Brooklyn, Iowa,’ you would probably get results from the regional newspapers, a community Facebook page not updated since 2016, and a few Google Maps results. Now the results are very different as the town name dominates news coverage of the man charged with the first-degree murder of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts. The month-long search came to a grisly end when law enforcement discovered remains they believed to be the missing University of Iowa sophomore. Reports from the autopsy indicate she died… Read More

If you are a missing person, it helps to be white Jasmine Moody, a 22-year old Texas Women’s University student mysteriously vanished on December 4, 2014, while visiting a friend in Detroit, Michigan. Nearly four years later, police are no closer to figuring out what happened to her. News coverage of her disappearance has long since vanished from the scene too, folding into the phenomenon of what is known as Missing White Woman Syndrome. Approximately 7:30 p.m., the evening of December 4th, Jasmine was last seen leaving her friend’s home in the vicinity of the 3700 block of Baldwin, in… Read More

The Media, Race, Gender, and Disappearances Media coverage of missing persons cases is skewed to favor one archetype of a ‘missing person’. Gender, race, class and attractiveness can determine whether or not a case will be covered on the nightly news. According to the Crime Report, race is the most significant factor in determining whether or not the media will be interested in covering a missing persons case. Not surprisingly, the media’s standard for a newsworthy missing person is most likely a white victim, specifically a white woman. The inconsistency in coverage of missing persons cases is so well established… Read More