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Blacks Say Mainstream Media Don't Cover Their Communities Accurately

"Old-school" New York Times newsroom, 1942
“Old-school” New York Times newsroom, 1942
The mainstream media are notoriously leftist. Democrat-voting journalists dominate in TV broadcasting, and print and online reporting. It is a well-known fact beyond dispute.

They’re biased against socially conservative Christians and other “right wingers.” From their perspective, how they view the world (including the “climate-change” nonsense) is mainstream, not leftist. In crime reporting, they go out of their way to avoid mentioning race if the perpetrator is black, and if he’s Hispanic, they might turn him into a “white Hispanic.”

Dog bites man? Boring. Expected. Man bites dog? High-profile story worthy of global coverage.

So why do most black “news consumers” say the media don’t cover their communities accurately? From The Media Insight Project’s report:

[R]elatively few African Americans and Hispanics — which combined make up approximately 30 percent of the U.S. population — believe they see in the media an accurate portrayal of their own communities. Only a third of Hispanics and a quarter of African Americans believe their communities are accurately portrayed in the media, and a major reason for this may be that they feel their communities are not paid much attention in the news. Only half of adults in either group believe their communities are covered regularly in the media today.

The perception that, even in the networked age, it is difficult to see regular or accurate coverage of African American and Hispanic communities may also be inhibiting these Americans from being more avid news consumers. While large majorities of African Americans and Hispanics are daily news consumers, and while pluralities access the news throughout the day, those with concerns about the accuracy of the media’s coverage of their communities attend to the news much less often.

Does part of the perception stem from crime reporting? According to the report, blacks tend to rely on TV and online local news stations. Most of the criminals shown on the local news are black, and blacks who don’t commit crimes don’t like the association.

Tia C. M. Tyree, a Howard University professor and the assistant chair of the university’s department of Strategic, Legal and Management Communications, said: “Many will believe there is embedded racism in many of America’s systems: the media system, the legal system, the educational system. Many will believe that minorities aren’t treated fairly in those systems, and because of that, any products that come out of it will be problematic.”

The web has lowered the publishing barrier. Any blogger can attest to this fact. But it’s hard work to do proper reporting and gain traction as a credible news source. If you believe that your community isn’t being accurately portrayed, however, you can do something about it.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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