Jun 26 2015

Travis Dixon on ‘Terrorism’ Labels, Seth Freed Wessler on Immigration Prison Uprising

Amanda and Jerad Miller, right-wing terrorists

When do journalists choose to unleash the weaponized language of “terrorism”—and what effect does that have on public opinion and policy? University of Illinois professor Travis Dixon has researched media patterns on the issue.

Jun 25 2015

That Most Terrorists Aren’t Muslim May ‘Come as a Surprise’–if You Get Your News From Corporate Media

Police at a Las Vegas terror attack (photo: Steve Marcus/Reuters)

in a piece all about the “mismatch between public perceptions and actual cases,” the entity most charged with matching sure these match–the news media–doesn’t get much scrutiny

Jun 24 2015

Federal Documents Debunk Baltimore ‘Gang Threat’ Narrative

Baltimore protesters (photo: John Taggart/EPA)

Vice has released devastating documents about the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI’s analysis of a “threat” released by the Baltimore Police to the media on April 27 that local “gangs” had gotten together and conspired to “take out cops.” The “credible threat,” used to justify an aggressive crackdown on protests against police violence, was reported on at the time from everyone from local news to national outlets like CBS News

Jun 24 2015

Charleston Massacre Media Coverage: Recognizing the Crime, Downplaying the Causes

Philadelphia Daily News on Dylann Roof: 'Terrorist!'

In lieu of pointing out the role of the US right wing and the conservative media in radicalizing Roof, corporate media preferred to pathologize him as a distraught young man, a mere product of a troubled childhood.

Jun 24 2015

For Media Factcheckers, It’s ‘Mostly False’ to Say Mass Violence Is More Frequent in US

Mourners outside Emanuel AME Church (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

In theory, factchecking is one of the most important functions of journalism. In practice, systematic efforts by corporate media to “factcheck” political statements are often worse than useless.

Jun 23 2015

How One Outlet Covered the Charleston Massacre Right

Sahara Reporters: US State Senator Killed By Terrorist With White Supremacist Sympathies

there was at least one news item that ran the day after the shooting that was not afraid to refer to it as a terrorist attack: “US State Senator Killed by Terrorist With White Supremacist Sympathies, 8 Others Dead,” reads the headline of a news item that appeared on Sahara Reporters.

Jun 22 2015

WaPo: Don’t Say ‘Terrorist’ About ‘White People Like Ourselves’

Dylann Roof appearing in court

Generally, news outlets don’t explain why they aren’t calling Roof a terrorist suspect–they just rarely use the word. But the Washington Post’s Philip Bump gave it a shot in a piece headlined “Why We Shouldn’t Call Dylann Roof a Terrorist.”

Jun 19 2015

Why Are Persons Unknown More Likely to Be Called ‘Terrorist’ Than a Known White Supremacist?

Dylann Roof

The day after the Boston Marathon bombing, 34 percent of newspaper stories used the word “terrorism.” With the Charleston church massacre, the comparable figure was 7 percent.