Is the news media racially biased?

This morning, while at work, I stumbled across the website of a local newspaper in a neighboring county. I didn’t realize that it was a newspaper until I noticed a few links to articles about the latest crimes, all violent. I had a bad feeling, but I wasn’t too surprised. All crime reports involved young black male suspects.

I took another look at the layout of the article links. I noticed a glaring disparity. Most of the reports involving black people or the black community involved violent crime. All featured mug shots of the suspect. Only one news article focused on a rising, black female politician. All links had photos underneath.

Furthermore, stories involving the community either featured black and white people or just white people in their pics. Half of the stories were either neutral or positives. But most stories exclusively on blacks were about crime.

As soon as I left, I went to Google News. It was no better over there! It was somewhat worse.

This time, most articles where white people were center stage were somewhat mostly positive. But, on the other hand, stories about blacks were all negative. Politics, celebrity and sports topics all had something negative to report regarding a black person or black people.

Sometimes it makes me wonder. Are we really that terrible? Are white people really that fantastic, or is there more to it?

Why should I care? After all, most of the news media is owned and operated by white males. So, I shouldn’t expect anything more.

Yet, I do care. I care, because so much reporting seems to matter whenever a brotha shoots somebody. When that happens, it is among the first things you see on TV or read in print media.

Yet, if someone was saved from danger by a black person, if there were gatherings and shows that feature positive black adults and youth or if black people actually do something deemed as positive, would the news media care? And if perchance it does get attention, how much will it get?

From what I’ve seen and read, any kind of positive news regarding blacks are few and far between with little coverage and limited circulation. But, have a brotha rob someone at gunpoint or do a drive-by shooting, and reporters will dog-pile on it as if it was the last, biggest, juiciest piece of steak they’ve ever seen.

So, does that mean black positivity is rare as hell? According to those who watch the news religiously, it does.

People gullible and naïve enough will take the news as objective sources of information. That means that if you had four articles about just as many shootings by just as many brothas as opposed to zero articles about any sort of white crime and focus on those stories for a certain amount of time, you would think that black men are the cause of so much crime.

Plus, your racist stereotype threats are confirmed, and when you feel right, you may feel high and mighty. You may feel it is your obligation as a good citizen to tell black people to get their shit together and learn from your people’s example. After all, no white crime was reported. So, that means white people are not as criminal prone.

Or are they?

Studies and statistics have shown that most crime – violent crime in America is caused by whites, at least 60 to 70 percent of all U.S. crime. But hold on a minute, if that were true, then why is it most crime reported in the news is committed by blacks? If they are most of the suspects you see on local and mainstream news, and most front page articles are about black crime, why would one conclude that whites comprise most of America’s criminality?

Before you know it, the words “racist (against whites), liberal media, black-on-white crime” will sooner or later emerge from their temper tantrums. But I digress.

In any case, think about it. Wouldn’t it stand to reason that (1) the news media is indeed racially biased in favor of whites against blacks and (2) that just like there are studies that highlight the overrepresentation of blacks as violent suspects and criminals, wouldn’t it mean that at the same time, it underreports white crime?

I don’t have any information, nor can I seem to find any data to support this, but if anyone out there has some or knows where to look, holla at me.

I remember a comment a while back in another blog from a person describing a rape case. A well-to-do white male was charged with rape. However, it was never reported in the local media. It seemed like the family of the suspect convinced the local media off to keep quiet about the case as they have some sort of connection with one another. So, the whole thing was largely kept private.

I also remember a former white female friend telling me how she was gang raped by a group of white males. The horrific crime was never reported.

So, is the news media racial biased? Does it have a warped fascination with black pathology? Does it protect the interests and self-esteem of whites? Does it care if their “If it bleeds, it leads” mantra is contributing to stereotyping a community helping to convince its white viewers that the criminal black man is real and proliferating? Has this bias contributed to racist policies, inhuman treatment and indifferent and murderous attitude that so many black people find themselves victims of?

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32 thoughts on “Is the news media racially biased?

  1. I write about this a lot. I too also think it is of some import. This type of bias can lead to such things as that white woman calling hysterically for the police instead of an ambulance when Jonathan Ferrell knocked on her door seeking aid.

    There is a lot of power to be had when you control the perception and narratives. And frankly speaking, whether unconsciously or on purpose, most if not all media/news outlets and so forth back up, and further the cause of white supremacy.

    It has detrimental effects for POC across the full spectrum of society.

    Well written Brotha James, and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  2. OMG! I have been saying this for the longest of times so I know exactly how you feel! And it’s not just the so-called conservative media either MOST of the media is racist as all get out with help from those who are also black. I will be doing a post about it soon.

  3. of course the news media is biased, I hear its only a few white ppl that decide what makes the news or not. They are in control of it, and of course the white males will focus on the black male crime and not much on white crime. U know they love to be looked at as prince charming, if they showed white males doing crazy things then women probably wouldn’t look at them the same. They won’t report a lot on the black kids that make it into college at young ages, or the black male that saved a kidnapped white girl, or the black child that started his own company and is worth millions before he even reached puberty. No if they did that then ppl wouldn’t view black ppl as no good and not going to amount to anything. No they will focus on the criminals that happen to be black and put the most despicable crimes that black folks did on the news. But they keep it hush hush when its whites doing some crazy Jeffrey dahmer type sh!t or killing ppl and cutting up the bodies. oh yeah we don’t hear about stories like that unless we go to black websites or websites from other countries, the white american news media won’t touch it. They don’t want whites to be viewed as being vicious and doing evil things. But I see the vile things that go on that they don’t report they can’t hide all of it.

    1. Unless it’s absolutely horrible, the news media won’t touch it if a white person was behind it. How long are they still covering the recent Navy Yard shooting and its aftermath versus the time it took them covering the aftermath of the Newtoon mass murder? It’s still hard to tell.

    2. And to piggyback on mstoogaood4yall’s comment regarding the media’s obsession with Black pathology, Hitler once said, “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.”

    3. Speaking of Dahmer notice how the media romancitize white male serial killers making them seem like an anamoly? They are never looked at as a pathology of the dominant culture. The same thing with white celebrities if a black person does it then they are vilified endlessly but if it’s a white person then they get a slap on the wrist.

      1. yep they sure do and can u believe they sell serial killer items online they call it murderabilia and sometimes that money goes to the serial killer. They romanticize white criminals, the mob they make movies and shows about them but a black person does half of what they do and they are evil or we don’t hear about it. whites form groups, kill, steal, and sell drugs they are called mobs and they make reality shows about the descendants of the mobsters, blacks and poc do it and they are called gangbangers and thugs and u will not see a show promoting them and their lifestyle. hell the way they always glorifying mobsters I thought there were no black mobsters, but I learned there were and the Italian ones and the law enforcement took them down, no we won’t hear about black mobsters. if they gonna glorifity one glorify them all, shun one shun them all, I don’t agree with mobs being promoted at all, but i’m just annoyed the white ones get glory and everybody else gets ignored or punished for doing the exact same thing.

  4. Yes, the news media is biased. While just this morning, I am getting ready for work turn on the television and the screen is plastered with faces of black men and women. If not African Americans, it’s Hispanics. I say to myself “surely, all the criminals are not black/brown. The white folks are perpetrating crimes as well. But, it has to be something so absolutely heinous that they can’t let it go. For example, school shooting or some kind of mass murder. Otherwise, I feel they covewr up and sweep under the rug, the crimes of the white people. I look in the news paper, again a whole page with black/brown faces. Yes, the news media is biased.

  5. In the case of miss black people, they are slow to issue amber alerts, but when whites go missing it seems action is taken immediately, and they are reported on until they are found or the worse case scenario. That’s why TV One, has a program for African Americans. If the missing victim is white blue eyed blonde and deemed attractive by white standards, they will get results. Not so much for blacks people.

  6. What you are seeing sir and I’m sure you know this, “predictive programming”. For those of us who have the attention span of a snowflake in July, this serves the a very specific task. That task is evident in what we see happening now and has been happening in this country since our inception. Though it’s easier now because of the internet, the plan is still basically the same.

    Another good article.

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