The Trayvon Martin case was the first US story this year to get more mainstream and new media coverage than the presidential race. But each form of media focused on different aspects of the story – from the legal ramifications to the role of race to calls for vengeance, the story’s many facets were highlighted depending on where it was being discussed.
Twitter was one of the main outlets for people outraged at the controversy surrounding the fatal shooting of Martin.
Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found that Twitter conversations around the case focused on different aspects than cable and talk radio, and blogs.
The main focus on Twitter was outrage at the shooter, George Zimmerman and calls for justice, as well as outpourings of sympathy for the murdered youth and his family. On cable, the conversation revolved around gun control and Florida’s Stand Your Ground defense law, while the blogosphere focused more on the role of race in the shooting.
The story itself didn’t become a national issue until more than two weeks after Martin’s shooting. While Twitter did light up with commentary in the days following the actual event, it wasn’t until the 911 audio tapes were released – which revealed that Zimmerman was advised not to follow the youth – that Twitter, and the mainstream media, really started paying attention.
The volume of tweets related to the shooting doubled on Twitter immediately after the tapes were released, and continued to rise for the next several days. It tapered off by around March 27th – interestingly, just as commentary on blogs reached its highest point.
You can read the full report about the different media approaches to the story here.
(TV camera image via Shutterstock)