Aug 032004
Authors: Collegian Editorial Staff

It’s kind of nice when we actually get the good along with the

bad and the ugly.

Denver media outlets converged Monday on the story of a man who

took down a mugger who was attacking an 83-year-old woman. The

mugger was twice the man’s size.

The woman was waiting for a bus Monday morning when a man asked

her for a dime. He then sprayed her with pepper spray and took $65

and a two-wheel shopping cart the woman uses to help steady her

balance, according to The Denver Post.

The smaller man tried to talk the mugger into surrendering and

then tackled him when the mugger started throwing punches.

It’s not very often the media concentrate on these types of

feel-good stories. It’s usually the murders and rapes that make the

big news.

But in this case, the media decided a 5-foot tall, 110-pound man

tackling and holding a robber until the police arrived was worthy

of extensive coverage.

Too often in journalism it becomes easy to concentrate on the

sensational and the scandalous (e.g. the Kobe Bryant case). The

Collegian can be guilty of this as well, but it’s important for

people to see that there are good things going on in their

communities. It makes them feel better about where they live.

It’s also great that the man had the courage to help out when a

crime was being committed. Psychologists sometimes speak of the

bystander effect, which is when people become less likely to help

others in need when there are other bystanders around.

This clearly was not the case in this situation. The man did

what he had to do to help someone out, and the media gave the story

broad coverage.

That’s the way it should always be.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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