The Never-Ending Battle
Out of the last several press releases I have attempted, only one netted one a story on a local TV station. The rest are ignored.
Tonight I attempted to help a family in the L.A. area. I sent out the following letter to the media:
" Today I was going through the Google news hits looking for missing persons. I came across a fair amount of them, as I usually do, mostly missing children and women. There were only a couple of young men, both of whom appeared to have been victims of drowning. Most notably though, was that space was devoted to two separate missing dog stories and even one about a missing lizard. And, of course, there was the Natalee Holloway coverage.
One must ask the question why missing men are consistently ignored when it comes to media coverage. Do we feel that because they are men, they could not possibly have been a victim of some sort? Are men loved less than women by their friends and family?
While we sincerely hope that Natalee is still alive, her family has received resources that are not afforded to the typical family of a missing person. There came a time in that story when her family had more than enough help. The typical citizen watching the coverage on Natalee was powerless to help her, other than to pray.
Local media all over the country continued to air her story, and none were observed using that opportunity to showcase any one of the hundreds if not thousands of missing persons right there in their own community. Many of these families receive no assistance or media attention whatsoever.
If we only could reach you and help you to understand the opportunity you have to actually make a difference. When covering one of these "hot" stories like Natalee's, you could even just briefly, show photos and basic information on at least one or two missing persons in your local area, asking the public to help by placing posters and looking out for these persons. What a tremendous difference this could make!
Even right now in your community, there is a family in pain because their son, their brother, and their friend has been missing without a trace since April 12th, 2005. They have pleaded for media coverage and received only one story in a newspaper.
Robert Spellman is 27 years old, with brown hair and blue eyes. He is 5' 8", and weighs 165 lbs. He was last seen in Sherman Oaks, CA, and was possibly wearing Nike Shox shoes and carrying an Addias bag. If you have seen Robert, please call the Los Angeles Police Dept at 213-485-5381. Robert's sister, Tracy, will be happy to provide additional details. You may reach Tracy at XXX-XXX-XXXX.
I challenge you to provide more even coverage of missing person's cases regardless of sex, race, age, or circumstance. A story about my organization with a mention of Robert was recently in the USA Today. It highlighted the lack of media attention for missing males.
Please consider helping this family, and the countless others missing, by adopting a fair policy in regards to missing person's coverage. Thank you.
Kelly Jolkowski, Mother of Missing Jason Jolkowski
Voice for the Missing
President and Founder,
Additional information about Robert can be found at the website created for him:
Robert's Tipline: 877-821-4631
I wonder what will happen next.
I will continue my campaign to encourage the media to provide equal coverage for all missing persons.