The Role Media Played on the Conviction of the “Central Park Five”. In the spring of 1989, a 28 year old white woman named Trisha Meili, who was out jogging in Central Park, was raped, brutally beaten, and left for dead. On that same night, a large group of young people from Harlem had also been in the park with the intent of causing mayhem, or “wilding”. In a city where urban crime had reached its maximum and where violence had become commonplace, “wilding” was defined as a new trend among teenagers to go on crime spree, committing senseless acts of violence, causing as much harm as possible and hurting innocent citizens for no reason. Of the large group of teenagers from Harlem that were also in the park, five Blacks and Latino boys were arrested and eventually wrongfully blamed for the crime. Through examining the approach taken by the media to cover this vicious crime, it is evident that the races of the young men contributed to the sensationalized way they were portrayed in the media, which ultimately led to public anger and a wrongful conviction.
According to this research paper, it might be better to address the journalists who covered the case of Central Park Joggers as “wilding journalists” rather that the five youths accused of committing the crime. In this case, the fact that the youths that were held in custody were African-American and Latino added fuel to a city plagued with crime. The media coverage became too sensationalized especially with the new racial code word of “wilding”. The terms ultimate intention was to “define the inhumanity of these Kids”. Since nobody really knew where the term came from, this only proved that those underprivileged minorities would fit the description conveniently. Yet those stubborn stereotypes are so hard to escape. In fact, one columnist who covered the case from the Daily News, Bob Herbert, a black journalist, made fun of the boys. He described the boys in a dehumanizing way as “teenage mutants”, a slang term...
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