Trayvon Martin update: Deggans, Hooper appear at USF in Tampa town hall meeting on Monday
The media end of the Trayvon Martin case seems to be settling down, even as a wider assortment of groups offer town hall meetings and panel discussions to dissect the meaning of it all.
I'll be appearing at a panel/town hall discussion in Tampa Monday organized by the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists and moderated by my colleague at the Tampa Bay Times, columnist/Brandon bureau chief Ernest Hooper.
The free forum, "Trayvon Martin and the Media," starts at 7 p.m. Monday at the University of South Florida’s Patel Center for Global Solutions, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, sponsored by the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists in partnership with USF News.
Topics at hand include media coverage of the case, how social media played a role in news coverage, the Stand Your Ground law, and other legal aspects of the investigation. Click here for more information.
My fellow panelists include: Rev. Charles McKenzie, director of the Florida chapter of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition; Kenneth Minton, an adjunct professor at St. Leo University and Hillsborough Community College, who is a former sheriff's deputy and Stand Your Ground law proponent; and Karin Moore, an Orlando-based defense attorney and FAMU professor.
There have been a few recent updates in the media side:
Lila Luciano, a Miami-based correspondent for NBC, reportedly lost her job as well in the controversy over how audio from shooter George Zimmerman's was edited for stories aired on the Today show and the network's Miami affiliate. Luciano is the third journalist to known to have lost a job over the incident, including an unnamed NBC producer and a reporter for the Miami affiliate.
As journalists reported on a MySpace page Zimmerman once maintained which had disparaging comments about Mexicans, his attorneys created a wave of online and social media outlets to fight their client's damaged image, including a Facebook page, website and Twitter account.
When an attorney for the Martin family noted material from the MySpace page might show a "pattern of profiling," defense attorney Mark O'Mara published a message on his website saying “We believe that inviting public scrutiny of the contents of this social media account invites scrutiny of the social media accounts of all parties involved. While these social media accounts may be public, we will not comment on them publicly, as they may be part of the evidence produced at trial.”
Weeks ago, some websites published messages they said came from Martin's Twitter accounts featuring lots of profanity and explicit talk.
Seems the legal fight may move into social media in interesting ways.