Columbia Journalism Review, TBWA\Chiat\Day NY Showcase Press Worthiness--Or Lack Thereof--For Missing Persons 


Robert Goldrich
Monday, Nov. 7, 2022


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Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) has unveiled “#EveryoneIsPressworthy”, a campaign aimed at addressing bias in media when it comes to covering people who go missing. Working alongside creative agency TBWA\Chiat\Day New York, CJR has developed a unique data tool allowing people to calculate their press value if they were to go missing, based on current reporting in America.

In an effort to open up a dialogue between media publications and CJR on how journalists cover reports of missing people, allows users to publicly share their press value for the world to see. In most cases, the results show vast disparities on how a person would be covered if they went missing, depending on their race, gender, and where they live.

CJR’s hope is that awareness generated by the campaign will force changes in newsroom practices, and could improve the coverage of other areas, like policing and criminal justice, where coverage inequities remain. “The coverage of missing people is a high-profile example of an even bigger problem,” said Kyle Pope, editor and publisher of CJR. “We’re hoping to force a recognition, where systemic coverage gaps exist.”

The number of people aware of a person’s disappearance has a major impact on their chances of being found. Furthermore, the amount of coverage a missing person receives is often influenced by demographics such as race, age, sex, and even geographic location. Commonly known as “Missing White Woman Syndrome,” a person’s physical attributes can determine if they are front-page news or not featured at all.

For example, a white young adult woman who is reported missing in New York could be covered in 67 news stories, according to the CJR data, but a Latino male of the same age would appear in only 17. The gap is even more extreme for diverse members of other age groups, and a middle-aged Black man who goes missing would be expected to receive four or fewer mentions in the press. 

This video--"How Pressworthy Are You?" directed by Talia Mayden of Redslash--introduces the Pressworthy program. More than 600,000 people go missing every year; most get no press coverage at all.


Client Columbia Journalism Review Agency TBWA/Chiat/Day NY Amy Ferguson, chief creative officer; John Doris, director of integrated production; James Sowden, chief strategy officer; Nuno Teixeira, Jexy Holman, creative directors; Pedro Sampaio, associate creative director; Pieter Claeys, sr. copywriter; Gina Pido, graphics; JungEun Han, animation; Tina Lam, executive producer/associate director of production; Chloe Heller, sr. producer; Sarah Healy, producer; Katelyn Saks, strategy director; Margaret Dick, strategist; Michael Horn, global head of data product; Alana George, sr. director, analytics; Steven Kreuch, sr. digital producer. Production Redslash Talia Mayden, director; Alex Hass, DP; Marc Baill, sr. producer; Kaitlyn Dutchin, associate producer. Editorial Redslash Talia Mayden, editor; Gary Fraser, animation; Pietra Cangialosi, producer; Tricia Higgins, exec producer. Color Rare Medium Stephanie Park, colorist; Mikey Rossiter, supervising colorist; Heath Raymond, exec producer. Music JSM Joel Simon, CCO/CEO/co-composer; Jeff Fiorello, VP/exec producer; Norm Felker, Andrew Manning, sr. producers; Sharon Cha, producer; Rebecca Riter, co-composer. Audio Post Redslash Aaron Jaffe, engineer; Pietra Cangialosi, producer. VFX Artjail Steve Mottershead, creative director/partner/founder; John Skeffington, managing director/EP/partner of NY & L.A.; Elizabeth Thuvanuti Keating, head of production; Tess Kennedy, producer; Dayung Jo, Flame lead; Giulia Bartra, Ben Macchiano, Nuke compositors

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