Listen to this article here
A new Pew Research Center report finds that 63% of Black Americans say news coverage about Black people is often more negative than news about other racial and ethnic groups.
While few are optimistic changes in the foreseeable future, many see ways in which that coverage could be improved. And one factor consistently stands out – making sure that all journalists are informed about the issues affecting Black people.
Pew Research finds 63% of Black Americans find news coverage biased
On several questions conducted by Pew Research, Black Americans are far more likely to view news coverage of Black people in a negative rather than positive light:
- Almost two-thirds of Black adults (63%) say news about Black people is often more negative than news about other racial and ethnic groups; 28% say it is about equal and 7% say it is often more positive.
- 57% say the news only covers certain segments of Black communities, compared with just 9% who say it covers a wide variety of Black people.
- Half say coverage is often missing important information, while only 9% say it often reports the full story.
- 43% say the coverage largely stereotypes Black people, far higher than the 11% who say it largely does not stereotype. An additional 43% say both of these things happen about equally.
How can news coverage of Black people improve?
Black Americans identify a few steps that could improve what they see as flawed coverage. And one factor consistently stands out – making sure that journalists are informed about the issues affecting Black people.
The Pew Research survey asked about the importance of several practices for journalists when covering Black people, finding that:
- 76% of Black Americans cite coverage of all sides of an issue as extremely or very important.
- 73%, say it is extremely or very important for journalists to understand the history of the issues in the story.
- A majority (59%) say journalists personally engaging with the people they cover is of high importance.
- Roughly half (48%) see having journalists advocate for Black people as extremely or very important.
This multi-method report, which is based on a survey of 4,742 U.S. Black adults conducted from Feb. 22 to March 5, 2023, and nine online focus groups of Black Americans facilitated between July and August 2022, has additional findings.
Find the complete Pew Research Center report which covers its steps for improving coverage, newsroom representation, concerns about coverage within the Black population, the role of Black identity, and its full sources of news and information.