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National Media Doesn't Show Up for Destiny Norton Story

National Media Doesn't Show Up for Destiny Norton Story



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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John Daley Reporting The search for Destiny Norton has generated plenty of local coverage on TV, radio, in the newspapers and on the internet.

But unlike some similar Utah cases in recent years, so far the national news outlets have ignored the story.

This search is drawing a lot of local coverage, but so far we're not seeing any satellite trucks or reporters for national networks. The only clear reason is they're focusing on other stories--one in particular.

A five-year-old girl disappears without a trace, and a community searches. Among the apparent mysteries is why, so far, the national media have stayed away.

Jeannie Hill/ Friend, Search Coordinator: "It is a little frustrating, especially since the fact that we haven't found her yet. It should have national attention. It should."

The kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart drew blanket coverage in 2002, though in that case her younger sister actually witnessed a man taking the girl.

The national media showed up two years later when Lori Hacking disappeared and her husband Mark became a prime suspect. Lori's father says he's surprised they're not back now.

Eraldo Soares/ Father of Lori Hacking: "I really don't know. I wish more of the media would come out and lend that help to spread the word."

Ron Yaros/ Communication Professor, University of Utah: "It's perplexing."

But Communication professor Ron Yaros has a theory.

Ron Yaros/ Communication Professor: "I'm seeing right now almost a preoccupation with the Middle East exclusively."

Yaros says an apparently widening war in the Middle East is drawing much of the focus, leaving little time for much else, even 400-thousand people without power in a heat wave in St. Louis.

He tracks news outlets on the internet and is particularly puzzled that national news operations aren't at least posting stories about Destiny on their websites.

Ron Yaros/ Communication Professor: "Perhaps there's just a proliferation of major news stories now."

It's a news decision with a consequence, because time is of the essence.

Jeannie Hill/ Friend, Search Coordinator: "We need this to be national. It's been five days and we haven't found Destiny yet. It truly leads us to believe she's alive and out there somewhere. In five days you can get real far."

Of course, depending on events here, interest from national media outlets could rise. But with the situation in the Middle East growing tenser, it's possible that may not happen.

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