At the risk of being accused of having an obsession with references to race and ethnicity in journalism, I want to call attention to a controversy over the fact that some news reports identified James Holmes, the accused shooter in "The Dark Knight Rises" movie theater shootings, as a white man. (The L.A. Times story did not so describe him.)
This is from Richard Prince’s “Journalisms” feature on the website of the Maynard Institute:
"News consumers learned that the man suspected of shooting 70 people in Aurora, Colo., on Friday was white before they knew his name.
“NPR described the man accused of killing 12 people and injuring at least 58 others as a ‘white male in his early 20s.' On Pacifica Radio's 'Democracy Now,' host Amy Goodman said the gunman was 'believed to be white, about 24 years old....
“Paul Colford, spokesman for the Associated Press, explained to Journalisms at midday, 'I'm told that 'white' was part of the original police description, though that element will be dropped. Race is included when a story contains a racial element, and so far this one apparently has no such element.'"
More @LA Times