Fair and Unbalanced: The Tale of Two Trials

Since March 21st reporters representing the cream of American journalism have been camped out in the Bay Area covering two high profile trials. In an Oakland courtroom two men are accused of being involved in three murders, including that of Chauncey Bailey, a journalist who was writing a story about Your Black Muslim Bakery. In San Francisco, baseball home run king Barry Bonds is accused of telling a federal grand jury that he never knowingly took steroids. Aside from the fact that both trials are taking place, and all the defendants are African American, there is a disparity in how these cases are being treated by the media, both local and national.

The Bailey trial is being covered by less than a dozen reporters from mostly local media: the Oakland Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, KTVU, American Urban Radio Networks, CBS Radio, NPR, the Bay Guardian, Associated Press and ABC 7 News, several websites and bloggers. Some are there every day, others are not. To be fair there was more media coverage for the first few days of the trial.

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