By: Adriana Orozco
Niche community bring awareness to missing people cases by social media and podcasts.
As the internet years progress more and more communities have formed where people from all over the world can share the same interests. One of the growing niche communities is missing people blogs and pages. Some people in this community often call themselves ‘sleuths;’ however, most people just participate to spread awareness of missing people.
There are many different ways people in these communities help out and interact with one another. Some podcasts feature missing people's stories told by investigative journalists who talk one-on-one with the family and friends of the missing person. The Vanished is one of those
podcasts. It has a large fan following and a Facebook page where different members can post information and updates on missing people.
Long before the age of social media, missing people were posted on milk cartons or billboards on freeways. Today with the help of social media, these cases are now shared and talked about and often get the coverage they need.
Melissa Jones, host of The Vanished podcast, talked in an interview about how her coverage of a missing person’s case made it resurface in the news after years of it not being covered. The digital era has created a community of people who want to help and spread awareness through the means of social media. Police departments have also started these communities where they share information on missing people and target specific communities.
In an interview with The Missing, Ashley Iodice explains, “We have found that video elements in the digital media space garner more viewership, which we believe will help in finding more missing children.”
There are many cases where social media has helped find missing people or has created social attention when vigils and search parties are held. What once was a story behind newspapers is now a large community of different people coming together to help raise awareness to those who are missing. As social media continues to grow so will the importance of these blogs and podcasts.
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