Jul 15 2015

Some Things Considered, Mostly by White Men

Study of NPR commentators shows a retreat from diversity—and politics

EJ Dionne & David Brooks (photo: Amherst)

A new FAIR study finds that NPR commentary is dominated by white men and almost never directly addresses political issues.

Jul 03 2015

James Loewen on Racism and US History

Teaching What Really Happened

The Fourth of July weekend will doubtless feature media chatter about what America “stands for,” and how our history has shaped us. But much of the talk will bear little relationship to the country’s actual history, which is roughly a million times more complicated and conflict-riddled than the image we are usually presented.

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 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 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.