Industry demographics are a big factor, Reynolds said.
“Our newsrooms do not reflect the diversity of the country, and the people in editorial roles are even less diverse,” said Reynolds, whose organization works with journalists of color. “Until journalism corrects this, we will continue to be increasingly irrelevant to audiences that reflect the future.”
Online interest in Ms. Petito’s case also pushed news publishers to closely follow her story.
“Journalism in general tends to be reactionary, and if we see something explode on one of these platforms, we are going to jump over it,” Reynolds said.
Alvin Williams, host of “Affirmative murder,“A podcast that focuses on true crimes with black and brown victims echoed Mr. Reynolds’ analysis.
“I’m incredibly glad she’s getting the resources to help her find her,” Williams, 29, said in an interview Sunday before law enforcement officials announced they had recovered a body that was likely Ms. Petito. , “But obviously there is a disproportionate focus on his story,” he said.
“We can play the game of, ‘Oh, it’s because she was a vlogger’ and all that stuff, but we can also see that she’s a Gen Z, a little blonde girl, and that’s what gets the clicks,” he said. Mr. Williams added.
He noted that in Wyoming, the same state where Ms. Petito was found, 710 indigenous People disappeared between 2011 and 2020, according to a report by the University of Wyoming.