Race & Media Reactions
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Race & Media Reactions

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Thoughts on how the media handles race in the Age of Obama.

Thoughts on how the media handles race in the Age of Obama.

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Race & Media Reactions Race & Media Reactions Presentation Transcript

  • Racial Reporting in the Obama Age Thoughts on how the media handles race and what we can do to make it better
  • King Salim Khalfani Executive Director Virginia State Conference NAACP Has media’s portrayal of race improved since Barack Obama’s election as president? “ I’ve coined a phrase called the ‘Obama backlash,’ from industry, corporate institutions like banks, schools ... “To the average person of African descent it appears as if the sentiment is, ‘You may have an African in the White House, but were going to show you who’s really in control.’ “ I’d go back to the New York Post editorial cartoon depicting the president as a chimpanzee being shot by police officers and killed over the stimulus package. We had days of outrage all over the country, (but) no one was reprimanded.”
  • What could the media do to improve portrayals of race? “We need more inclusive newsrooms, that King Salim would help tremendously. Khalfani “With print media, there’s been so much downsizing, and we know who the first fired and last hired are. And we’re not in editorial or Executive Director administrative positions to say, ‘That’s Virginia State offensive.’ We need someone who could at Conference NAACP least have some input into what is published. www.virginianaacp.org “It makes good business sense because you have various markets out there who are potential customers.”
  • What role does the public have in improving portrayals of race? King Salim “The public should speak with their dollars. Khalfani If a media outlet or institution is not sensitive to their needs and their respect, Executive Director speak with their dollars. Virginia State Conference NAACP “Take an example from the Latino community, with Lou Dobbs on CNN. Lou www.virginianaacp.org Dobbs was continually offensive to them, they went to CNN with their considerable market share, Lou Dobbs is gone. I think they set a great example.”
  • Sabrina Thompson Educator, WEEN Vice Chair, & CEO of Beanpye www.weenonline.org Has media’s portrayal of race improved since Barack Obama’s election as president? “As far as the media’s concerned, if I’m looking at an ideal world, it’s media’s job to be neutral and show what exists in America ... From the perspective of a Black woman, most of the time you see Blacks and Latinos from a negative angle. “What media’s driven by now is negativity. They want the sensationalization, they want something that brings in the ratings. “The election was an illusion of integration. I don’t think too much has changed at all.”
  • What could the media do to improve portrayals of race? “It really starts with us, we have to make our own reality. We cannot depend on anyone. We are an amazing culture and lots of times Sabrina we are trendsetters. We make things cool, so why haven’t we stepped up to the plate in a strong way? Thompson “We have plenty of multimillionaire Educator, WEEN Vice celebrities or just investors ... who could Chair, & CEO of really create an amazing addition to BET, a Beanpye whole other network perhaps.” www.weenonline.org “We are a capitalistic society, people want to know ... will it make any money? It’s about bridging social awareness, social responsibility, with capitalism ... It’s up to us to start showing what we know in a good light.”
  • What role does the public have in improving portrayals of race? “I think we have to get away from, ‘I got Sabrina mine, you get yours.’ Thompson “We’ve lost the notion of how powerful we really are collectively. Educator, WEEN Vice “As much as capitalism helps the economy, Chair, & CEO of it also hurts cohesiveness within our race, Beanpye we’ve becoming very individualized. www.weenonline.org “There’s a lot of work we have to do to build back up the cohesiveness that was prevalent in the 60s and 70s and it’s about being strategic.”