Race's new role: Columnist addresses race's new role in the
"We are living in a most ironic media moment," Boston Globe columnist Derrick Jackson began, in his lecture "Obama: Has the Color of the President Changed the Character of the Media?"
Over the years, the media has tried to "get the story right about race," Jackson said. It diversified and developed an environment in which President Barack Obama could be elected president, but now that it has succeeded, "the media is stagnating and slipping," as employment rates of minorities in print journalism have dropped significantly in recent years.
Jackson spoke about how race plays a role in the news at the College on Monday, November 9, in the second installment of the Lovejoy Visiting Journalist in Residence series.
Jackson has worked as everything from a sports writer to a photographer, and has written for The Boston Globe for over two decades. He has been recognized by a number of prestigious organizations for his thought-provoking coverage of a wide variety of important issues.
Through his extensive experience, Jackson has come to the realization that the media do not always portray the "overall reality f events."
"The media report and write from the standpoint of a white man's world," Jackson said, as they inaccurately depict reports of violence and crime. "These depictions reinforce the notion of African-Americans as useless people who deserve their fate," he said.
Jackson shared statistics that demonstrated that, in the news, white people are often portrayed as "good Samaritans," while African-Americans are more likely to be photographed in the hands of the police.
Similarly, Jackson cited studies that have determined that even though only 42 percent of African- Americans are unemployed, in photos in magazines such as Time they are depicted as jobless 88 percent of the time.
"I know I've rattled off a lot of numbers," Jackson said, after sharing even more statistics that illustrate the inaccurate defamation of African Americans and praise whites by the media. He proceeded to explain that from his experience, however, he has found it is necessary to put things in numbers in order for people to understand the widespread severity of unconscious racism.