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Assessing Diversity in News. Tom Huang: Whats missing in our coverage are the everyday acts and opinions, quirks and foibles, that make Asians individuals,

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Presentation on theme: "Assessing Diversity in News. Tom Huang: Whats missing in our coverage are the everyday acts and opinions, quirks and foibles, that make Asians individuals,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Assessing Diversity in News

2 Tom Huang: Whats missing in our coverage are the everyday acts and opinions, quirks and foibles, that make Asians individuals, that make them human. Minorities in the News: Whats Missing

3 Minorities in the News: Whats Missing? John B. Russwurm and Samuel E. Cornish, 1827

4 Minorities in the News: Whats Missing? Too long has the publick been deceived by misrepresentations, in things which concern us deeply, though in the estimation of some mere trifles; for although there are many in society who exercise toward us benevolent feelings; still there are others who enlarge upon the least trifle, which tends to the discredit of any person of color; and produce anathemas and denounce our whole body for the misconduct of this guilty one. From the press and from the pulpit we have suffered much by being incorrectly represented. Men, whom we equally love and admire, have not hesitated to represent us disadvantageously, without becoming personally acquainted with the true state of things, nor discerning between virtue and vice among us. … Our vices and our degradations are ever arrayed against us, but our virtues are passed by unnoticed.

5 Minorities in the News: Whats Missing? Kerner Commission, 1968 The media report and write from the standpoint of a white mans world. The ills of the the ghetto, the difficulties of life there, the Negros burning sense of grievance, are seldom conveyed. Quoting a black citizen: [T]he average black person couldnt give less of a damn about what the media say. The intelligent black person is resentful at what he considers to be a totally false portrayal of what goes on in the ghetto.

6 Minorities in the News: Whats Missing? Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 2010 Coverage of Blacks is Too Negative Coverage of Blacks is Generally Fair Blacks58%28% Whites31%60% 1005 adults surveyed August 12-15, 2010

7 Minorities in the News: Whats Missing? UNITY, survey of members, 2010 95% believed MSM inadequately covered race & race relations 14% believed their producers and editors were knowledgeable about race 14% believed MSM had helped improved race relations

8 What does research tell us? Patterns of coverage Recent examples Proposed solutions

9 Amount of Coverage Coverage of blacks between 1950 and 1980 New York Times, Atlanta Constitution, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune Increased coverage in each succeeding decade Never more than 4% of news hole (Carolyn Martindale, Significant Silences: Newspaper Coverage of Problems Facing Black Americans. Newspaper Research Journal 15, no. 2 (1990): 102-115.)

10 Amount of Coverage Coverage of Latinos on network TV news, 2002 ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC aired 728 primetime hours of news 5.68 hours (.78%) devoted to Latino-related issues; 120 stories (Serafin Méndez-Méndez and Diane Alverio, The Portrayal of Latinos in Network Television News, 2002, National Association of Hispanic Journalists.)

11 Whats News? Crime Of 120 stories about Latinos: 39% crime 18% terrorism 9% illegal immigration

12 Whats News? Crime Local TV news coverage of race at 26 stations in 12 cities, 2003 (596 stories) Leading topic: crime (22% of all stories) (Poindexter, Paula M., Laura Smith & Don Heider. Race and Ethnicity in Local Television News: Framing, Story Assignment and Source Selections. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 47, no. 4 (2003): 524-536.) Crime focus Stories feature blacks69% Stories feature whites28%

13 Crime in News vs. Crime Statistics 200 local TV news stories about crime, Los Angeles, 2006 (Travis Dixon and Cristina Azocar, The Representation of Juvenile Offenders by Race on Los Angeles Area Television News, Howard Journal of Communication 17, 2006, 143- 161.) Arrest RateTV PerpetratorDifference Black18%39%+21 White22%24%+2 Latino53%29%-18 Other7%8%+1

14 Crime in News vs. Crime Statistics 185 Network News Stories: Missing Children, 2005-07 (Seong-Jae Min and John Feaster, Missing Children in National News Coverage: Racial and Gender Representation of Missing Children Cases, Communication Research Reports, 27(3): 207-216.) FBI DataTV NewsDifference Black Children33.2%19.5%-13.7% Non-Black Children66.8%80.5%+13.7%

15 Sourcing Patterns 596 Local TV news stories at 26 stations in 12 cities, 2003 (Poindexter, Paula M., Laura Smith & Don Heider. Race and Ethnicity in Local Television News: Framing, Story Assignment and Source Selections. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 47, no. 4 (2003): 524-536.) Order of Appearance in Stories FirstSecondThirdFourth White84%79%75%85% Black12%18%21%12% Latino2% 0% Other2% 1%0%

16 Sourcing Patterns Network TV News, 2008 75% of white reporters sources were white 50% of minority reporters sources were minorities Presidential Campaign Coverage, 2004 White reporters used minority sources in 5% of their stories Minority reporters used minority sources in 15% of their stories (Lynn C. Owens, Network News: The Role of Race in Source Selection and Story Type. Howard Journal of Communication 19, no. 4 (2008): 355-370.) (Geri Alumit Zeldes and Fred Fico, Broadcast and Cable News Network Differences in the Way Reporters Used Women and Minority Group Sources to Cover the 2004 Presidential Election, Mass Communication and Society, 13: 512-527, 2010.)

17 Sourcing Patterns 104 Looting Scenes on Network News, Hurricane Katrina (Kirk Johnson, Mark Dolan and John Sonnett, Speaking of Looting: An Analysis of Racial Propaganda in National Television Coverage of Hurricane Katrina, Howard Journal of Communication, 22:302-318, 2011.) ActorsSpeakers Black 77 scenes 74% of time 16 scenes 15% of time White 4 scenes 4% of time 83 scenes 80% of time

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22 Summary Amount of coverage of minorities is small Somewhat disproportionate attention to crime Missing white children newsworthy Whites tend to dominate as sources White reporters tend to have white Rolodexes Careless word choices and labeling may offend

23 Proposed Solutions Diversify the Newsroom Mixed evidence of effectiveness Diversity viewed as a cost center

24 Proposed Solutions Community Outreach Total Community Coverage Race and Media Forums

25 Proposed Solutions Content Auditing Self-monitoring tools

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