Black News Coverage Leaves a Lot to Be Desired

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Pew examined more than 67,000 national news stories that appeared between Feb. 16, 2009 and Feb. 15, 2010 in different mainstream media outlets. News surrounding two figures alone -– Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and President Barack Obama -– accounted for 37% of the African American newshole.  (Newshole is defined as the total time and space a story takes, not the number of  stories.) The largest event with 19.4% of coverage tied to race in the way it was covered--the July 16, 2009 arrest of Henry Louis Gates, who was mistakenly suspected of trying to break in to his own home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Gates accused Sgt. James Crowley, the arresting officer, of racism and the president weighed in saying the police “acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home.” A few days later, Obama was forced to host a beer summit at the White House with Gates, Crowley, and Vice President Joe Biden. (Image: Gates being led away in handcuffs from his home.)

Pew examined more than 67,000 national news stories that appeared between Feb. 16, 2009 and…