A Reader Notes A Difference Between U.S. And U.K. Reporting

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Two views of the
same story: The January 8 London Times reported
on a spate of armed robberies in England and Wales. Some
of the violence is horrifying: a 19 year old girl was
shot in the head even though she`d surrendered, a 10
year old was robbed at gunpoint of a mobile phone and
twenty-five pounds.

The headline in
the Times was:

Black gangs prowl for mobiles

By Richard Ford, Home Correspondent

MOBILE phone thefts surged last year
as black teenagers targeted white boys under 15, a Home
Office report will disclose today. Many victims are too
busy talking or text messaging to notice the danger from
gangs of youths prowling cities in the afternoons
looking for phones to steal.

The report estimates that 710,000
phones were stolen last year — almost double the number
recorded by the police — and one survey suggests that
more than half a million of those were taken from
children aged between 11 and 15.

Later you read:

The vast majority
of victims in all six areas where white, with Asians the
next most often targeted. Only a small proportion of
victims were black.

In all, I counted seven uses of
the word black, three uses of the word white, plus the
above reference to

Clearly, not only has England`s Home
Office identified the criminals and the victims, but
The Times
printed it.

Next day, the
Washington Post
reported the exactly same story.
But no one in the story is identified by race at all.
Apparently, there`s no one in

but the British, and guess what the UK
imported that it shouldn`t have? – those nasty American

Mobile Phone Shootings Shock Britain

By Ed
Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, January 9, 2002; 1:49 AM

–– In a country where most police are armed with

little more than batons
and the closest many people
get to crime is a TV drama, criminals with guns have
been seen as the kind of problem that afflicts other

But a
surge of murders, robberies and assaults involving guns
in London, including the mugging of a teen-age girl who
was shot in the head for a mobile phone, has shaken
Britain`s traditional attitude that guns are other
peoples` problems.

(full story)

January 10, 2002