From an underplayed incident to a viral, racially-charged tragedy, the Trayvon Martin shooting has shocked Americans across the country. How did the case attract so much attention, so quickly? In an article chronicling the coverage, Poynter called attention to how the combination of social media and tradition media outlets has defined the story, and its key players, so far.
News of Martin’s killing, which occurred the night of February 26 in Sanford, Florida, was initially limited to a short report in the Orlando Sentinel, which attributed the death to an “altercation,” Poynter reports.
It was not until Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, held a press conference a week later that the media began to question the initial reports, Poynter said. The Sentinel published a second article on March 8 with many more details of the killing and the shooter, George Zimmerman, who has not yet been charged for the death, Poynter said. Zimmerman alleges that he acted in self-defense.