Three citizens in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, were shot dead Tuesday night in their apartment. The victims were Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, of Chapel Hill; Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, of Chapel Hill; and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, of Raleigh, according to the Daily Tar Heel, University of North Carolina’s student newspaper.
Because the victims were of Arab descent, there has been speculation from many, including those close to the victims, that the shooting was a hate crime, and many have taken to social media using the hashtag #muslimlivesmatter. However, police said the preliminary investigation suggests the crime was motivated by a parking dispute between neighbors.
No matter the reason behind the shooting, the crime is an immense tragedy. But, the other tragedy of the situation is the fact that major media outlets, like the New York Times, CNN and The Washington Post, did not have any sort of coverage up about the incident until late today when the attention on social media alerted them. Additionally, though some media outlets did cover the event from the beginning, such as the Daily Tar Heel, the story did not spread online until late today.
This shooting is an incredibly important event for media to cover, especially because it may have been motivated by prejudice and hate. Realistically, media outlets had plenty of time to cover the event the moment it happened, and should have. These tragedies are crucial for media and readers to pay attention to, because racial prejudice and violence affects all of us in some way.
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