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Media - Know what You Report

The 6/04/07 letters to the editor of the Commercial Appeal carried the following reader letter:

TV news: Know your neighborhoods

To all local TV news reporters: Please stop reporting every crime on Elvis Presley Boulevard as "Whitehaven"; it's not.

There were several crimes in South Memphis last week, and they were pretty horrible. But each time there is crime on Bellevue or in South Memphis, the media always mention Whitehaven.

Our beautiful Whitehaven starts at Brooks Road and ends at Stateline Road going south. We have magnificent real estate here, homes in the $150,000 to $300,000 range, and this crime reporting really discourages potential home buyers and developers.

Whitehaven is a proud community. The people who live here chose to because it really is a nice place to live. I invite anyone who has never visited Whitehaven to take a tour one Sunday. Visit Graceland and check out our new sub-divisions -- Diamond Estates, Emerald Estates, Auburn Ridge, Lion's Gate, Old Graceland Subdivision, Ruby Estates. It is beautiful here.

Clinton Palmoore


Sounds familiar. This is EXACTLY how the Mall of Memphis came to be "known" as dangerous. The late Stanley H. Trezevant Jr.(who built the mall) said that in the early days of the Mall, management watched in frustration as TV reporters described crimes that happened MILES away from the mall as occurring in the "Mall of Memphis area". Their paid PR could not overcome the negative PR generated by a camera and a reporter with an inaccurate description of where he/she was.

Look out, Whitehaven. The media has played this game before.