According to one 2014 study, 75% of white Americans don’t have any non-white friends. Put another way, white people’s perception of African Americans and other people of color comes primarily from media representations rather than actual interactions. As such, how communities of color are portrayed in the media – from news and opinion pages to movie and TV screens – is tremendously important.
Two newly-published reports reveal how these perceptions are consistently distorted to over-emphasize Black and Latinx criminality, center white people in sympathetic portrayals as either victims or heroes, and overwhelmingly lump immigration coverage in with coverage of crime and violence.
In this episode, we discuss the bare statistics of how people of color, immigrants, and the poor are shown in media, why it matters, and the consequences of media makers from newsrooms to Hollywood perpetuating destructive stereotypes.
We're joined by some of the people behind these reports, Lucy Odigie-Turley of The Opportunity Agenda and Nicole Rodgers of Family Story.
Lucy Odigie-Turley is the Opinion and Media Research Coordinator with The Opportunity Agenda. An experienced communication researcher with training in both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, Lucy conducts and organizes multi-methods research to assess dominant media narratives and public opinion about poverty, immigration, and criminal justice.
Nicole Rodgers is the founder and executive director of Family Story, a communications and research organization that elevates stories of diverse families. A strategist with broad expertise in communications, branding, and research in the public interest, Rodgers is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Role Reboot, an online magazine dedicated to storytelling and social critique from a new generation of Americans rethinking “traditional” family, breaking through stereotypes, and bucking expectations about gender roles.
Redefining Sanctuary: Analysis of public attitudes and media coverage of sanctuary jurisdictions and related immigration policies
Lucy Odigie-Turley | December 2017 | The Opportunity Agenda
A Dangerous Distortion of Our Families: Representations of Families, By Race, In News and Opinion Media
Dr. Travis L. Dixon | December 2017 | Color Of Change