Thursday, September 15, 2005

9/15/05 Media Challenge

There is a beautiful missing young woman from Richmond, VA, who appears to be the next "poster child" for the missing in the eyes of the media. 17 year-old Taylor Behl may not be as big as the last person as far as coverage hours devoted to her go, but I believe within 48 hours, we'll be seeing her story on local media outlets nationwide. Today there were over 100 stories about her on both national TV news and on local media outlets in that area. I also saw one from RI and one from IL.

Google news search results for Taylor:

While we may not be able to have much effect on what the national media does, perhaps we can challenge our local media to be responsible and help families right there in their own communities. Some of these missing persons have never had one single story in a newspaper or on TV to help create awareness for them and hopefully bring them home. Is it fair to only show one missing person over and over again when there are thousands upon thousands, most of those cases unknown to the typical citizen?

Please do not misunderstand my intentions. I am not saying that this young woman should not get media attention. I sincerely hope that she is found safe and sound soon, so that the nightmare for her family can end.

I am saying that it is not right that only one is featured.

All of those local media outlets can surely cut 15 seconds from that story to show one or more persons missing in their own area. They could also display their name, photo, and police contact information in the corner of the screen while the regular story is shown. "Also Missing" could be shown above their name. What a difference it could make for the other families if they could get this assistance!

I am asking for your help in our Media Challenge. The link at the end of this post will provide you with detailed instructions on how to help us help the forgotten missing.

These children are missing from the same area as Taylor, but I cannot find any news stories about their disappearances.

Update: Ingrid is the only one of the 3 below who is still missing. Sadly, Taylor was found deceased.

INGRID LOPEZ, Missing: Mar 25, 2005 Age Now: 16
Missing From:FAIRFAX,

HILDA PAZ, Missing: May 19, 2005 Age Now: 18 Missing From: MANASSAS,VA

LATASHA CARTER, Missing: Dec 2, 2004 Age Now: 17 Missing From: RICHMOND,VA

My guess is that you've never heard about any of these girls.

For more details and instructions on helping with the Media Challenge, please see

Let's do our part for all missing people.

I'll say goodnight to you and then a special prayer for all four young women.


Blogger blogger among many said...

Well, my challenge to the media would be if you don't want to cover my missing loved one, don't you DARE come around sniffing for a story if a body is found. And don't you DARE try to cover the murder trial.

They need to have the opportunity to cover stories taken away from them, when they are deprived of the lurid stories that they seek, perhaps then they will want to cover important stories such as the missing.

Stepping off soapbox now...Those three girls you have on your site, they are runaways...or should I say throwaways as far as the importance the media places on them. I truly hate the classification of runaway and I wish the NCMEC would do away with it because people tend to discount the missing teen.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Kelly Jolkowski said...

Yes, unfortunately the media does come running when there is a body found and a trial. I had a case just recently where the girl had no coverage until they foudn her body. Their coverage of her after the fact wasn't going to bring her back.

Aw, one of my pet peeves is classification as a runaway, especially in cases when you just aren't sure. It seems to be an automatic these days and it does cause prejudice. See my Runaway post some weeks back for more on this.

11:01 PM  
Blogger blogger among many said...

I read your runaway post a few weeks ago. I have a web site up where I post missing teens based on information I receive from the NCMEC poster partner program.

Although the url of the site is, when I read your blog entry it made me think. I changed my page names to read missing teens. I classify each case as missing. At least one person listened to what you had to say :-)

6:37 PM  
Blogger Kelly Jolkowski said...

Thank you, Blogger.

One less way to have prejudice for these cases now!

Here's a point in case:

A mother of a "runaway" I know went to the media, asking for their help and refused by everyone of them in her city. She referred to her child as a runaway.

A month later, I went to them with a missing girl case, and the story was carried on all 4 networks!


7:26 PM  

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