The 5 Worst Cities For “Urban” Youth

My friend posted this on her facebook page today and I immediately went to the story. This is one of the first studies I’ve seen in a very long time where “[p]articular attention is paid to high-school graduation rates, infant mortality rates, unemployment rates, juvenile justice incarceration, and the amount of jobs created in relation to funds received by the Recovery Act.”

The creators of the list, ScoopDaily, identifies as a “groundbreaking news outlet that features original reporting by, for, and about America’s youth regarding politics, culture, and opinion trends.” They have partnered with Zogby International, a marketing research and polling company to provide their research. The first line of the study states:

in its commitment to calling attention to the Obama Administration’s continued neglect of urban America, ScoopDaily has compiled a list of the 5 worst cities for urban youth.

As La Macha wrote about experiences in the Midwest, this list is telling as Detroit, Ohio, and President Obama’s hometown, Chicago are included with Atlanta and Baltimore concluding the top 5 list. Now, I’ll admit that the list that was created focused exclusively on people who racially identify as Black in the US. So, I wonder how the term “urban” is being defined and used. Can we assume that similar findings crossover to Latino, Asian, working class White, and other under-resourced communities that may also be overrepresented in the areas of focus?

Another interesting aspect was the use of graphics when re-reporting this story. My homegirl posted a like from ABC News and after reading the story there I then went directly to the story on ScoopDaily. You’ll notice that ABC News chose a Getty Image to accompany this story of three headless, inked, light skinned people, who I read as biological men, walking in front of a graffiti mural. The caption under the foto is about FBI efforts to “dismantle” gangs in Chicago that have become “full-fledged criminal enterprises.”

What does this image invoke? I’ll admit that for me I read the images of the young people as Latino. However, when I read the story I realized that Latinos were not specifically represented. That’s when I went into my hardcore media literacy mode and asked myself: What messages and values does ABC News want to send that may not have been ScoopDaily’s original focus, as ScoopDaily did not have any fotos accompany the story? What message has ABC News constructed with the use of one foto? How are people with different perspectives going to read this article and interpret this foto?

What do you think?

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