Murder Victims in Black Areas Got Less News Coverage

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Researchers have quantified the news coverage gaps for homicide victims in predominantly Black neighborhoods, The Trace reports. Scholars from the University of Chicago and Stanford analyzed more than 2,200 news articles about murders in Chicago in 2016. Their findings put numbers to complaints that racial justice activists have long made. Victims killed in majority-Black neighborhoods received less coverage than those in white areas. When the media did report on victims in Black and Hispanic neighborhoods, the articles were less likely to depict those who’d been killed as multifaceted, complex people.

Forrest Stuart, one of the co-authors and director of Stanford’s Ethnography Lab, amplified the study results in tweets. “We discovered that articles about White victims are much longer than those about Black and Brown folks, and use more humanizing language,” he wrote. “One of the more interesting and important findings is that neighborhood really matters,” perhaps even more than the individual victim’s race.

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