Monday, December 21, 2009

The Human Trafficking Narrative

The recent series in the Kansas City Star, “Human Trafficking in America”, used a logo of hands bound by our flag…and the narrative tag: “U.S. failing to find and help victims”. The series’ narrative and logo did not put me off from reading and re-reading the stories.

How did that logo grab you? The picture appeared a few days, looming large. A flag as handcuffs?

And today, Judge’s cartoon, which parrots the narrative, with extra words upon the plate beneath the poetry on the Statue of Liberty….”…and then make them sex slaves”.

Sometimes it helps to have a bit of respect for your reader, to write to them with some level of sophistication and appreciation of their intellects. With such a rich narrative, intended message, theme, spin, slant, perspective…whatever word one chooses, this series belonged in the editorial section of our Star. We are failing to help and find victims.

As news, the series should have dispensed with the guilt trip and fashioned the facets on a potential diamond of a subject using the logo space for more writing. In essence, this stone appeared to be carved before the writers arrived in Guatemala. It seemed “written” on Day 1.

Perhaps those choosing the logo design and the “narrative”, meant to incite, stir, shake, and disturb us. If that was the intent, well done.

If you missed the series, read it here.

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