Study Shows Black Americans Want Fairer And Diverse News Coverage
Data showed a big difference in how Black people feel about news coverage int he Black community.
A new study shows that Black Americans are looking for fairer news coverage, The Seattle Medium reports.
With close to 5,000 participating adults, the Pew Research Center took a deep dive into what Black Americans experience regarding news coverage. Each participant provided insight into their different habits and experiences with the news, and the results were interesting.
Data showed a steep difference in how Black people take in the coverage within their community.
One individual said, “There’s not a lot of African American coverage unless it’s February or it’s criminal,” while another pointed out that news coverage highlights bad news over good.
“They overemphasize the bad and not some of the good things that are happening in the community, or if they do talk about the good things, it’s just a blurb, and they want to focus on the one thing that was just terrible.”
According to the survey, about half of the respondents were dissatisfied with the current coverage, feeling more important information should be provided. Sixty-three percent believe the Black community is often portrayed in a negative light compared to other ethnic groups. A staggering 57% feels the news solely focuses on specific segments of the Black community. Only 9% are comfortable with the coverage, saying it provides a comprehensive and diverse picture.
To break down their feelings a little more, the survey responders pointed out numerous factors that contribute to their problems with news coverage: 51% blame media outlets’ selective push for stories, 45% said journalists have a lack of informed perspectives, and 42% point the finger at racist viewpoints within news organizations. Charles Whitaker, Northwestern University’s dean of the Medill Journalism School, said the numbers didn’t shock him at all, according to The Associated Press.
“We’ve known both anecdotally and through my personal experience with the Black press, that Blacks have long been dissatisfied with their coverage,” Whitaker said.
Richard Prince, diversity columnist for the Journal-isms newsletter, says that advertisements do a better job at depicting positive outlooks for Black people and believes media outlets need to improve.
“They should put a lot more effort into providing context,” Prince said. “They should realize that Blacks and other people of color want to be portrayed as having the same concerns as everybody else, in addition to hearing news about African American concerns.”
The only area in which Pew didn’t see a major difference in responses was politics. Katerina Eva Matsa, the center’s director of news and information, said 46% of Republicans and 44% of Democrats said that news coverage largely stereotyped Black people.