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« Cross Country Runners attacked by dogs | Main | Catching up »

September 02, 2009

Comments

michelle

Obviously this happens with most media stations throughout the United States. It's very frustrating because we need the media in situations where we need to get information out about services we are providing our community, bring more awareness of an issue for general support etc. Neither of these things will get as much in depth coverage.

However, if you have a case of animal abuse, a pet that needs medical attention, a dog bite, the media will be knocking your front door down for the story. As tragic as it is, it is a form of public awareness but too often groups exploit these animals for donor dollars or the media twists the story and soon our society will be desensitized to these types of situations if done too often.

My question would be how do you change this type of reporting from the media? Is there any groups meeting with media outlets to better educate the media on factual reporting or the statistics and unfair images they are portraying on Pit Bulls?

MichelleD

If if bleeds it leads. The only thing going to change it is if people quit buying/watching hysterical reporting. That and creating our own media...its not so much the reporters that are to blame but their editors.

Brent Toellner

Michelles,

It's true that in our current state of affairs with all of the media outlets struggling to gain their share of eyeballs (and thus, their share of advertising dollars), they are looking for anything that gives them a leg up on reporting. Often, popular villans and heros make for great stories that can gain these eyeballs. This is why the media makes such a big story about "heroes" when Michael Jackson and Ted Kennedy die (yeah, yeah, I know their hero status is questionable)and the opposite is true with OJ.

For whatever reason, the media has decided to cast "pit bulls' as the villans here.

As MichelleD noted, one of the ways to combat this is by forming our own media (which is what I've tried to do with this blog). The other is to continue to call, write, email, meet with local media reporters to be sure they are well educated on the matter and call them out when they clearly get it wrong. I do think more and more media outlets are starting to "get it" - but there are always the KCTV5's out there that would rather sell (or create) the news than actually report it.

Colby

Not all bites are worth reporting, though. When a retriever-type dog bites, it doesn’t cause nearly the damage and destruction that a pitbull-type dog does. Retriever-type dogs were bred specifically to retrieve game; they have a naturally soft grip, and do not “shake” their prey. Pit bulls, on the other hand, have a naturally hard grip and “shake” their prey. Pit bulls are also wont to keep going — it’s a trait we love about them, but it’s what makes a pitbull attack so much worse than any other breed.

Most fires are minor kitchen fires that are exstinguished quickly and without much damage. Very few fires cause massive destruction. But we never see news reports about the time your neighbor set dinner on fire; we only see reports of the family whose house burned down. The little stuff is inconsequential. The big stuff is news worthy, and that’s why it’s all we heard about.

Pit bulls are wonderful dogs, and my three pibbles are the three most loving, devoted dogs I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. But you are hurting pitbulls when you pretend they don’t cause more damage when they bite. That’s precisely what’s causing unqualified dog owners to adopt them, who are then unprepared to train or manage them correctly, which is what’s leading to these incidents. Stop denying that a pitbull’s bits is worse than a lab’s — it IS. And unless you are equipped to manage that, don’t adopt a pitbull. But if you educate yourself, train your dog properly, and practice proper safety, a pitbull will be the greatest dog you’ve ever known.

Brent

Colby. First of all let me note that on this 10 year old article that the media covered a story about a dog CHASING a child. Not even a bite. A chase. So unless you want to claim that pit bulls chases are more dangerous than other chases (which might be an entertaining read) you have missed a major element of this story.

Meanwhile, after seeing the dogs of the major bite incidents in a major city for much of the last decade, I'd conclude your assertion on pit bull bites being somehow different is untrue as I've see major bites and damage from virtually all of the popular large-breed dogs -- including Labs. Turns out teeth on human flesh can cause major damage -- especially on youngsters -- when things go wrong.

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