October 18, 2021

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Missing White Woman Syndrome: Media Obsess Over Some Cases as Black, Brown, Indigenous Women Ignored

2 min read

Wall-to-wall coverage of the case of Gabby Petito — a 22-year-old white woman and blogger who went missing while traveling with her fiancé Brian Laundrie and whose remains were found in a national park in Wyoming — has renewed attention on what some call “missing white woman syndrome,” the media’s inordinate focus on white female victims and the disparity in coverage for women of color. We host a roundtable discussion with Amara Cofer, host and executive producer of the podcast “Black Girl Gone”; Mary Kathryn Nagle, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and lawyer focused on tribal sovereignty; and Melissa Jeltsen, a freelance reporter who covers violence against women. “There is an underrepresentation of Black women, of women of color in these stories,” says Cofer.

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