Beat Blog on Racial Issues in American Media

Jeremy Lin.
Photo by Mike Cassese of Reuters

Media arguably have one of the largest impacts on how Americans view the world around them. This is because people view movies, TV shows, advertisements, and everything the internet has to offer for multiple hours each day. Americans cannot help but see these things, but they might not know exactly how much they are affected by what they are consuming.

Race is one of the biggest issues in the U.S. and many racial misconceptions and stereotypes likely stem from what is shown in the media. Comedians often use these stereotypes as the foundation for many of their jokes, for example, and it is highly possible that many Americans get distorted representations of many different ethic groups because these types of entertainers have a significant amount of influence on the American population. (It is nearly impossible to figure out exactly how much Americans’ views on race are affected by the media, though.)

My goal is to find examples of specific racial issues in the media and what some journalists think about this topic.

The New York Times on Jeremy Lin

NY Times columnist David Carr wrote this excellent article about Lin last February, during the height of “Linsansity.” Carr discusses just how incredible the Lin story was (and still is today), but points to the media’s often negative fascination with his Asian-American ethnicity, including an infamous tweet by respected sports writer Jason Whitlock (the tweet can be found in this article).

David Carr on Twitter: @carr2n


ColorLines is an award-winning online magazine that focuses on modern racial-justice issues in American society. The magazine discusses race not only in the media but also in politics, schools, prisons, and the economy, among other categories. If you’re looking for thought-provoking articles on race, this is a great site to check out.

ColorLines on Twitter: @Colorlines

Deadspin: Racist Tweets Directed at President Obama

During a Sunday Night Football game on December 16 (two days after the tragic shooting in Newtown, CN), NBC chose to air Barack Obama’s speech at the Newtown memorial during the opening minutes of the first quarter. The game could be seen on other channels affiliated with NBC for those who would rather watch that than the speech, but this didn’t stop many people from calling the President the N-word on Twitter and wanting NBC to air the game instead of the speech. Deadspin writer Timothy Burke briefly wrote his criticisms of the people who posted these tweets but mostly let the tweets do the talking for him. As you can see in the comments section of this article, many people were infuriated by these tweets.

Timothy Burke on Twitter: @bubbaprog on Django Unchained and Talking About Race in 2013

Rembert Browne is a young, African-American writer for the sports and pop-culture website, and although he is normally very lighthearted in his writing, this article was a very serious discussion on the issue of race in 2013. Browne uses the controversial film Django as the basis for his article, which mainly focuses on how far white people can go with regards to black culture. Is it OK for a white person to use the N-word? Direct a movie about slavery? Write a credible review about the new Chief Keef album? Browne does a great job tackling these issues and provides a fascinating take on conversations of race in 2013.

Rembert Browne on Twitter: @rembert

Race (and Religion) in the Media from The Guardian

This page can be found under the Media section of The Guardian‘s website. Here, you can read news and opinions on just about just about any current racial issue you can imagine.

The Guardian on Twitter: @GuardianUS

-Victor Flores

MW, 2-3:50

About Victor Flores

I am a sports journalist who has spent my whole career in the Intermountain West, first in Idaho and now in Montana at the Billings Gazette/ I graduated from the University of Oregon in 2014.
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