This post was originally published on this site
And five recommendations for how to write fair protest narratives
This piece was originally published by the Center for Journalism Ethics. It has been republished here with permission.
Doug McLeod, Evjue Centennial Professor in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, first conducted research on protest narratives nearly 40 years ago, when he began analyzing how the media helped shape public opinion about anarchist protesters in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, in the mid-to-late 1980s. During this time of nationwide Black Lives Matter protests, his research provides a powerful way of framing or reframing the stories we tell about protests.
Here McLeod has compiled his five recommendations for ethical protest coverage.
Problem: Too often, social protest is covered from the perspective of elite power holders. This is in part the result of the people news media typically use as sources for articles about protests: politicians, law enforcement personnel and other institutional sources (e.g., business leaders, interest group representatives and academics). This often presents a very top-down view of the world that works to reinforce the interests of the existing power structure.
Recommendation: Talk to the protesters and not just in the heat of protest when passions are running high. Take their perspectives seriously. Give them a legitimate voice in the social discussion and not just while the protest is going on.
Problem: As a result of journalistic conventions and the desire to demonstrate objectivity, most news stories about social protest are framed episodically
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/ethics-trust/2020/five-problems-with-how-the-media-covers-protests/