A new study done by The Media Insight Project has shed light on the way mainstream media is looked upon by black and Latino consumers – and it doesn’t look good. The mistrust that has been caused by decades of skewed representations has left 75% of African American and 67% of Latino news consumers wary of mainstream outlets.
The results are quite concerning as both communities together make up a third of the U.S. population. The U.S. Census Bureau is forecasting that they will overtake the number of non-Hispanic whites by 2043.
One person who is not surprised by the results is Tia C. M. Tyree, a Howard University professor and the assistant chair of the department of Strategic, Legal and Management Communications at the university, who said, “Many will believe there is embedded racism in many of America’s systems: the media system, the legal system, the educational system. Many will believe that minorities aren’t treated fairly in those systems, and because of that, any products that come out of it will be problematic.”
Another problem, she says, is the fact that the number of news presenters from the two demographics is not representative of the actual population.
“It matters who the owners are, it matters who the producers are, it matters who the editors are, because that’s often the agenda or the slant of the media and the news coverage,” Tyree added.
Although both African Americans and Latinos have a distrust for the media, at least the latter have a wider choice of Spanish-language media on their screens (including those from other countries) while in the case of the former their choices (including daily newspapers and cable channels) are very limited.
This is a serious mistake and the loss of a big opportunity, according to Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute.
“Hispanic media has sort of adapted and grown,” he says. “There isn’t an analogous, what you might call ‘ethnic’ press [for blacks]. They’re affluent, they’re attractive to advertisers, there’s a market there.”
Reported by Liku Zilliki
Culture Critic Blog
Sept 26, 2014