"WHAT'S MISSING?" TO AIR ON "DATELINE" -- FRIDAY, AUG. 5
"DATELINE" TAKES AN UNPRECEDENTED AND CRITICAL LOOK AT THE ROLE RACE MAY PLAY IN HIGH PROFILE MISSING PERSON CASES ON TELEVISION NEWSCASTS -- FRIDAY, AUG. 5 AT 8PM
NEW YORK -- August 2, 2005 -- Laci Peterson, Natalee Holloway and Jennifer Wilbanks have become household names. But what about Tamika Huston? In an upcoming report, "What's Missing?" to be broadcast on "Dateline" Friday, August 5 (8:00 PM/ET), Josh Mankiewicz travels to Spartanburg, SC to tell the story of a beautiful young woman, Tamika Huston, who went missing under suspicious circumstances last year. Tamika's aunt, Rebkah Howard, is a public relations executive who worked tirelessly to get Tamika's disappearance on the national news broadcasts. After having a hard time getting past the front door, she and other critics began to question if the decisions to cover one missing person over another has anything to do with their race, for while Tamika is middle class and attractive, she is also black.
"What's Missing?" takes an unprecedented and critical look at television news coverage of high profile missing person cases, and why the subjects seem invariably to be attractive, female and white. The broadcast explores the media's decision-making process, the role race plays in story selection on network newscasts, and how and why some believe that certain stories make the news cycle over and over again, while thousands of other missing person stories never get a single mention on national television. The newsmagazine reached out to news executives at CBS, ABC, Fox, CNN and MSNBC/NBC to discuss the issue, and NBC News President Neal Shapiro was the only executive who talked with "Dateline."
David Corvo is the executive producer of "Dateline NBC."