Other views: TV news on weekend drinking did not tell the complete story
I have to respond to a segment aired Oct. 16 on WDAY's 10 o'clock news broadcast. The piece did not tell the whole story. It reported on the increased number of arrests over the weekend that involved drinking. I was surprised to find that of the ...
I have to respond to a segment aired Oct. 16 on WDAY's 10 o'clock news broadcast. The piece did not tell the whole story.
It reported on the increased number of arrests over the weekend that involved drinking. I was surprised to find that of the people interviewed, I agreed most with the police officer. He pointed out that other factors have to be taken into account when looking at arrest statistics. So let's talk about the weekend.
It was homecoming for North Dakota State University and Concordia. The Bison also happened to be 5-0 going into the game and then won in a shutout. Being that it was homecoming, it is safe to assume there were more people in town and probably more people drinking. The news segment failed to mention that during big weekends, such as homecoming, both campus and local law enforcement put more officers on the street. Logically, if there are more officers on duty, there will be more arrests.
So I had lunch with three girlfriends and brought up the news segment. They were as upset as I was. We all agreed that, yes, there are alcohol abuse issues in the F-M area. We all agreed that, yes, there are high numbers of underage drinkers and drunken drivers around the college campuses. But, we also all agreed that to report a spike in alcohol-related incidents after a weekend in which more officers were on duty to cite offenders was inaccurate reporting. They related to me a particular incident that happened this weekend.
A young girl had drunk too much and asked a male friend to walk her home. She did not want to walk alone because of the recent assaults that have taken place around NDSU. While walking, the two were stopped by police and the young woman was cited for underage drinking. She broke the law and deserved to be cited. Notice though, her concern was not that she had broken the law and could get in trouble but for her personal safety.
The television media were quick to jump on a story about a hot button issue - alcohol - but did not accurately report the facts. More police mean more arrests. I am glad I have police to protect me from drunken drivers, but where are the police when girls continue to be attacked in the same parking lot on the NDSU campus?
Understand that I fully support our local and campus police officers and realize they cannot be in all places at once. It is the television media with which I am upset. Why is it that multiple times per day we are updated on the Rodriguez case, but those reports never lead into stories about the assaults that continue to happen on our local campuses? Why has there been no public outcry that funds have yet to be appropriated for a security kiosk or cameras in this parking lot?
In the wake of the Dru Sjodin tragedy and the Rodriguez case that followed, I wish the news media would use their voice to help prevent future tragedy rather then offering the public inaccurate information.
Franck, Fargo, is a student at North Dakota State University.