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An example of media bias and dog bites

In July of 2007, there were two child deaths linked to dog bites.

Case #1:
Breed: Siberian Husky, two dogs
Story: A mother placed her 11-mos old child in a playpen located near two dogs. The two dogs managed to get the child out of the playpen and maul him to death. 
Charges? Charges will not be filed.
Number of times reported in media: Six, including one AOL article and two articles reported in the same paper.
(Google: No Charges in Fatal Dog Attack; No criminal charges expected after baby fatally mauled by dogs; No criminal chages in death of baby; 11-month-old Alabama boy mauled, killed by dogs in Tennessee (Alabama); Infant apparently killed by pet dogs
AOL News: http://news.aol.com/story/_a/no-criminal-charges-expected-after-baby/n20070728162009990001)
Number of comments in articles: One in the AOL article

Case #2:
Breed: Pit Bull
Story: A father permitted his 6-yr-old son to feed an 8-mos old dog with a history of aggression. The child was alone with the dog when he was mauled to death. 
Charges? Charges are pending.
Number of times reported in media: Seventeen, including two MSNBC articles.
(Google: Pit bull mauling probe concludes; uticaOD.com - The Observer-Dispatch - 6-year-old feeding pit bull ...Wellsville Daily Reporter: Serving Allegany County, NY - News; Corning Leader - NewsR News: As It Happens, Where It Happens; Star-Gazette.COM - Editorials; Father charged in dog attack; http://www.the-leader.com/articles/2007/07/31/news/local03.txt; Father Charged in Pit Bull Attack - WETM 18 Online; Child Killed by Pit Bull - 13WHAM.com; Digital Journal - Six-Year-Old Killed By Pit Bull Pup; 6-year-old feeding pit bull mauled to death; http://www.theithacajournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070731/NEWS01/707310338
Google national: Six-year-old killed in pit bull attack - News - MSNBC.com; http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20184847/)
Of the six articles permitting commenting: 103 comments made


Aug. 13th, 2007 06:11 pm (UTC)
Re: I do a lot of research on this topic...
And, if it is not a "pit bull", it is very rarely reported on. Most fatalities from dog attacks seem to be covered by the media (locally for non-pit bulls/nationally for pit bulls). However, there is a huge bias in reporting non-fatal dog attacks.

In Indianapolis, for example, a girl required 12 stitches on her finger when was bitten by a pit bull. That was reported by news outlets statewide as a "Pit Bull Mauling". However, there have been 2 serious attacks on children by Labs and 2 serious attack by a Golden Retriever that weren't reported at all.

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