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What's This All About

 

  • Is race and ethnicity even important? Why? If it is, why don't we talk about it openly?

     

  • Is everyone prejudiced? Examine your own daily actions and thoughts and think about where your prejudices might be.

     

  • Can we set our prejudices aside? If not, how can journalists cover people unlike themselves?

     

  • Some people say stories about minority communities often sound like visits to the zoo: "Oh, look at all the animals and the funny things they do!" Do you agree? If so, how can we prevent that?

     

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  • Do you have to be one to cover one? Should editors assign reporters of the same ethnicity or background as their subjects? Is it better, worse or does it even matter?

     

  • Some newspapers require reporters to include sources of various ethnicities and backgrounds in every story and require a checklist at the bottom of stories identifying the backgrounds of those mentioned. Is this a good policy? 

     

  • Is it important to note when someone is a "first?" The first black sheriff, for example, or the first Jewish astronaut or the first woman firefighter? Why or why not?

     

  • What does it feel like to be left out, misunderstood or to have something you know a lot about described inaccurately or insensitively?

     

    Talking About Race, Out Loud and Often: A New York Times interview about multi-ethnic reporting with a journalism professor at Southern Connecticut State University who teaches a course similar to this one.

     

    Herald Columnist Leonard Pitts' Speech to Unity: Every four years, the four major minority journalism organizations meet jointly at the Unity Convention. Pitts gave this speech in 1999. (His column, which covers everything from politics to race to Disney World and won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2004, is among The Herald's best features. Read more here.)

     

     

    News as American as America

    A four-part series on journalism and coverage of a changing America, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of its Journalism Initiatives program.

     

    Voices from the Hellmouth: Listen to the voices of disenfranchised teens, posted by media critic Jon Katz, posted on the "alternative" web site Slashdot, shortly after the massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Col

     

    Where is Liberty City? Is the place where we live on a map or in our minds?

    Material on "Journalism with a Difference" from the Poynter Institute -- the journalism think tank that owns the St. Petersberg Times:

     

    Identifying When Race, Faith are Relevant: Knowing what to say and where to put it in the story is tricky.

     

    Fighting the Inner-City Blues

    A cornerstone of great writing is precision. A great wrecking ball of precise writing is the word: "Race."

     

    Remembering What We'd Rather Forget

    Giving volatile stories context.


    Confessions of a Diversity Director
    Who hates the word "diversity."

     

    An Essay on a Wickedly Powerful Word: The "N" word and more

     

    Reflecting the Audience's Diversity: Comparing the racial makeup of newsroom staffs to the makeup of the communities they serve.

     

    And, from "Press Think," an influential news blog:

    Does a Diverse Newsroom Mean Diverse Coverage?

    A veteran TV news director wonders, speculating that those who could cover diversity issues best often fear being typecast.

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