Social Media Put Florida Case In National Spotlight

CIS Non-Residential Fellow Lauren Gelman quoted in this NPR story.

The shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Florida has sparked heated reactions across the country, but there was a lag before mainstream media picked up on the story. Not so online, where a more immediate outcry grew into a petition drive this week to encourage a federal investigation.

Now the Justice Department is looking into Trayvon Martin's death at the hands of a neighborhood watch volunteer, and black media and social media were key in demanding closer scrutiny.
The 17-year-old was shot on Feb. 26, but it was the release Friday of 911 tapes from the night of his death that made the case a top story in the mainstream media — and kept it there.
In calls to dispatchers, witnesses reported gunshots and screaming. By the end of the evening, Martin was dead, allegedly shot in the chest by George Zimmerman, who had told the dispatcher moments before that Martin looked "suspicious."
Read full story at the original publication.