Mainstream media outlets ignore people of color

Mainstream newspapers, cable and network television, radio, and news websites do not care about the lives of people of color. According to The Pew Research Center’s latest analysis of news coverage,  African Americans had less than 2 percent of coverage, Hispanics had 1.3 percent and Asian Americans had 0.2 percent. This is so offensive considering the demographics of the United States. Direct your attention to a summary that the Kaiser Foundation did of the population data a few months back:

pew chart about race and ethnicity showing a decline in the proportion of the u.s. population that is white

While our country is headed in the direction of being a more diverse place, mainstream media just can’t seem to catch up. It is also disappointing that some indicators in Pew’s analysis point to the fact that gender isn’t mainstream media’s strongest showing either. For example, looking at the individuals that dominated African-American coverage –President Barack Obama, Michael Jackson, Henry Louis Gates, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab —  none were women . These men alone accounted for 46 percent of all the African American news coverage.

Despite all the bad news about newsmakers, the Pew Project For Excellence In Journalism also highlights how ethnic news outlets are still doing their part to represent people of color, despite having taken serious hits in these dismal economic times. As a blogger, I am going to make more of an effort to link to stories from The Afro-American or Vida en Valle that cover people of color in their complexity.

Join the Conversation