TV News Directors Assess Coverage of the Black Community

Timothy McNulty, Pittsburg Post-Gazette, April 21, 2011

News directors for the city’s three major local news networks are considering signing a joint agreement on coverage policies regarding Pittsburgh’s black community as part of an effort to add positive messages to the news as an offset to crime coverage.

The idea was forwarded by WPXI-TV news director Mike Goldrick at the latest Black Political Empowerment Project summit on media portrayal of violence. More than 30 media and black leaders attended the summit Wednesday at the Channel 11 studios in Summer Hill to discuss–and oftentimes vent–about how the city’s black community is covered by television, newspapers and radio.

{snip}

Many attendees complained the main coverage of black Pittsburghers was at murder scenes or courthouses. “I’m tired of turning on the news and seeing a sister with her hair all over the place, five teeth missing and looking like she just stepped out of the bedroom. That’s not something I want to see every time an African-American is interviewed on the news,” one BPEP activist said.

News officials countered that they go wherever important crimes are, and don’t choose coverage along race or neighborhood lines.

{snip}

Activists and news directors at the session (including KDKA-TV’s Anne Linaberger and KQV Radio’s Frank Gottlieb) also discussed ways to educate community groups on communications, support internships and jobs, work together on multimedia projects and other efforts–including the joint agreement by the city’s news outlets–all of which the group committed to work on further.

“The challenge that we have is to represent a community that is in fact divided in many ways,” said Ron Porter, the facilitator of the two-hour summit meeting. “Our job is not to accentuate or accelerate the polarities but to identify the common ground.”

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  • Question Diversity

    If you’re in Pittsburgh, my recommendation is to buy a good police scanner. Because the news won’t be a reliable gauge of crime news any more.

    Many attendees complained the main coverage of black Pittsburghers was at murder scenes or courthouses.

    Five words: If it bleeds it leads.

  • THE MAN

    We want the media to tell us the truth. We are old enough to look at each report and make objective opinions about what we see. We don’t want the media hiding the truth and censoring the facts to create a false sense of the world around us. Let the facts speak for themselves. Is it the media’s responsibility to worry about creating positive images for people. I read a book entitled “The Coloring Of The News”. In the book it reported about journalists who told the truth about a story and they were told by managers to either withdraw the story or censor it to create a more positive image for a selected group. Those writers who still reported the truth lost there jobs. The book is full of these examples.

  • alex

    What these blacks want, of course, is a snow job on the viewing public hiding and lying about what the real black world and all its people are about.

    The only way they can clean up their sorry images is to lie about them or fail to report on them visually or verbally.

    Basically, what they want is what they got with affirmative action: Blacks being hired by businesses even though they’re unqualified under AA, and entry and grading in colleges on the same basis, hoping to fool everybody into thinking they made it on their own.

    The light of truth is the enemy of blacks everywhere, and they hate it passionately.

  • sbuffalonative

    “The idea was forwarded by WPXI-TV news director Mike Goldrick at the latest Black Political Empowerment Project summit on media portrayal of violence. More than 30 media and black leaders attended the summit Wednesday at the Channel 11 studios in Summer Hill to discuss—and oftentimes vent—about how the city’s black community is covered by television, newspapers and radio.”

    To placate black critics that blacks were being disproportionately represented as criminals in the news, they stopped reporting on the race of the perpetrator. Now they want to stop reporting at the crime scene.

    We all know why. The crime scene and the people milling about in the background told us the race of the perpetrator.

    These people are trying to come up with new tricks to hide the facts of black crime.

    In the near future, reporting black crime will be considered ‘hate speech’.

    “Many attendees complained the main coverage of black Pittsburghers was at murder scenes or courthouses. “I’m tired of turning on the news and seeing a sister with her hair all over the place, five teeth missing and looking like she just stepped out of the bedroom. That’s not something I want to see every time an African-American is interviewed on the news,” one BPEP activist said.”

    Blacks can’t handle the truth and they don’t want other to see it and draw logical conclusions.

  • Old White Jim

    Hell, just put the Cosby Show on right after the news to remind White folks what Black people REALLY act like. Why send them to bed worrying about an Afro-thug coming through the window and having his way with Princess. True, it could happen to some of them, but why bother the rest of them with pesky reality.

    They will all sleep a lot better knowing that Blacks are really just dark-skinneded White people. No, wait, better than that. They’re dark-skinneded Osmonds or Pat Boones. So nice.

    Sleep tight, dummies.

  • NBJ

    In other words, stop showing the city and the country how blacks really behave. There, I’ve wasted less space to say the same thing.

  • Anonymous

    “I’m tired of turning on the news and seeing a sister with her hair all over the place, five teeth missing and looking like she just stepped out of the bedroom. That’s not something I want to see every time an African-American is interviewed on the news,” one BPEP activist said.

    So is the problem here the news media, or the black woman that doesn’t take care of herself? Instinct tells me it’s the latter, but you know us whites and our privilege. I could be missing the ongoing cultural repression that makes using showers and toothbrushes unbearable for the historically disadvantaged.

  • AvgDude

    Blacks don’t have a bad image. They’re just a lot of bad blacks, and it’s impossible not to notice no matter how much the government and the corporate media cover it up.

  • jc

    To Western PA residents,

    I live in Western Pennsylvania and I think accurate reporting on local crime is important. I would like to be part of an effort to persuade the local news media to change course and continue reporting crime stories without PC bias. If you reside in Western PA and can be of assistance please e-mail me.

    JC

  • on the lam from the Thought Police

    Blacks have high rates of crime and illegitimacy, and low rates of academic achievement, despite expensive efforts to bring them up to white levels. These facts ought to be reported thoroughly by the news media, because they have legitimate policy implications.

  • Anonymous

    Since the media tends to not report the race of someone engaged in criminal activity unless they’re White maybe they should stop reporting from the ghettos on these crimes. Go into the richest most exclusive area of Pittsburgh and report these crimes there. Show a bunch of White people walking around the streets, the chique boutiques and million dollar homes in the background. Of course, the names of the people involved in the crimes would give it away though.

  • Fedup

    Hmmm, let’s see, most of the local TV news stations don’t tell you the race or ethnicity of alleged perpetrators when providing descriptions of criminals still at large. This glaring omission by the media due to twisted political correctness poses a grave danger to public safety, but that’s alright by blacks. We must not offend blacks and show them in a bad light, even when they disproportionately represent the majority of crime in America. No cost is too high, even if the public is put in harms way. We can’t show the truth and depict blacks as they REALLY are!

    Now, the media is considering bowing to pressure from black activists to conveniently not report black crimes so instead they can run positive stories of blacks and uplift their self esteem? Give me a break! Nearly everyday, I read about how the mainstream media is losing business. People are tired of spin and omission of the news. The New York Times is one outlet I’ll be glad to see go down the tubes, and is on a major downward spiral now. Good riddance!

    Perhaps when these local stations ratings drop to the floor, they’ll either get the message and stop this stupid and dangerous practice or deservedly, go under. We still have the internet, but if Obama and Eric “my people” Holder have their way, we won’t have any reliable news source, only propaganda.

  • Jay

    “I’m tired of turning on the news and seeing a sister with her hair all over the place, five teeth missing and looking like she just stepped out of the bedroom. That’s not something I want to see every time an African-American is interviewed on the news,” one BPEP activist said.

    – But isn’t that ‘keepin’ it real’?

    I travel in ghettos sometimes due to my job, and this is how people look there. I see it all the time. Walking out in broad daylight with pajama pants on, doo rags, pants falling down, mis-shapen facial features, weird hairstyles. You can’t white wash your constituency. When they interview cops and others from the deep south, they all look and sound like Bubba, and I’m not offended.

  • Tim in Indiana

    “I’m tired of turning on the news and seeing a sister with her hair all over the place, five teeth missing and looking like she just stepped out of the bedroom. That’s not something I want to see every time an African-American is interviewed on the news,” one BPEP activist said.

    I call this the “black voodoo” view of the media. They think that by changing the images of blacks on TV, the shootings, the gang-bangings, the robberies, that this will somehow change the reality. Like I said, a form of modern-day voodoo.

    Rather than seeing the news coverage as a potential wake-up call to blacks to change their behavior, they seem far more concerned about what whites will think of them than what they’re actually doing to each other. This is not because they’re deeply ashamed of their behavior, but because they’re afraid the white goodies will stop flowing if whites become aware of what’s going on.

    We’ve had this same kind of black protest in my own area concerning the local (liberal) newspaper’s coverage of Gary. It’s hard to avoid reporting on all the criminal goings-on in the city. Even if the paper reported on one positive fluff piece for every crime story in Gary, blacks would not be happy. That’s because crime stories create a far more vivid impression on the mind than fluff pieces do.

    I think that blacks would prefer that the paper simply stop reporting on black crime altogether.

  • olewhitelady

    If the media stops reporting from the scenes of black murders and assaults in the ghetto, won’t blacks complain that they’re being ignored–that whites don’t care about all the victimized brothers and sisters? Such an idea is a fool’s errand anyway, since any time one of these crimes occurs, everyone assumes both victim and perp were black. If a white is victimized, and the MSM hides every fact they can about the criminal, everyone assumes it was a black or Hispanic. If a non-white is the victim of a white, of course, the media trumpets the fact for weeks non-stop. Before long, they may start to hide the name of any criminal that sounds black or has an address in a black neighborhood.

  • SoCA Realist

    Yeah, RIGHT, idiots!! A couple of years ago here in L.A., the news broadcasters decided to drop the “Central” from “South Central,” because “it gave blacks a bad name.” So now it’s “South” L.A., and anybody with a lick of sense knows, if they’re not black, to stay OUT of there. And, need I say, the vast majority of crimes STILL issue from “South L.A.” So a black area by any other name is still a black area (that is, equivalent to “high crime area.”) Shakespeare was right with the rose analogy, but for this, I think “pile” should be substituted for “rose.”

  • kgb

    “I’m tired of turning on the news and seeing a sister with her hair all over the place, five teeth missing and looking like she just stepped out of the bedroom. That’s not something I want to see every time an African-American is interviewed on the news,” one BPEP activist said.

    Who does this activist think he’s fooling?

    Is the media really bombarding us with negative black stereotypes outside of the evening news? Haven’t we seen enough black scientists, lawyers, doctors and judges on TV to fill the graduating class of Harvard for the next ten years?

    The readers of this site already know that black accomplishments are routinely exaggerated and fabricated from hole cloth just to bolster their tenuous self-esteem, and yet those accomplishments are unjustly revered by the media and rubbed in the faces of whites everywhere. The media can’t get enough of black triumphs and will give them a shockingly disproportionate measure of media coverage.

  • Detroiter

    Here in Detroit they generally don’t mention the race of the black robber/rapist/killer any more. They usually describe the criminal as “wearing a yellow shirt”

    If it weren’t for security video and cell phone video, the thought police would have most of us fooled.

    I am really beginning to feel like I am living in one of those scifi movies like Minority Report.

  • BB

    Once again, blaming the REACTION, NOT the ACTION that caused it……

  • Charles B. Tiffany

    As a student of history I went to Pittsburgh to study the battle where general Braddock got wacked and George Washington got his real baptism of fire in the French and Indian War. I told the Pakistani cab driver where I wanted to go and he stopped his cab and told me he wouldn`t go there even if it meant his job. This was on a late Friday afternoon. When I got there the only thing I saw besides liquor stores and snarling thugs was a road sign. I was told recently a park Service building and lecture area had been erected but I doubt this. Having represented many unfortunates in tough places all over Florida, I believe I`m an expert on urban thuggery. Braddock made Liberty City look like Rodeo Drive.I walk with a heavy cane with a porcelain jackal head. I would say that cane`s nose has a penetrating power of a 38 pistol. In practice once I bisected a 10 pound water melon with it. On the bus two Pittsburgers with Steeler do-rags on their fros made a comment about taking the geezer`s cane. I told number 1 to pick his ground, the dentist office; orthopedic hospital; or the botched brain center surgery coma ward. I heard them exclaim as they strutted out of sight, ” Mfing cracker would have put up a fight.” If the perp walks were erased from the nightly news I am certain these college age youths [?] would not have needed my cane and not feared my appearance in their educational territory. I had no business interefering with their part time jobs to raise monewy for school. There were three old ladies on that bus that were prohibited from donating to the UNCF, a brother is a terrible thing to waste.

    Charles B. Tiffany

    Kissimmee, Florida

  • Sardonicus

    I say stop committing the crimes and you’ll stop being featured on the television news. The public has a right to know what side of town is lawless and dangerous and which is orderly and safe. Could the people who live there have something to do with it?

  • Jack

    “The challenge that we have is to represent a community that is in fact divided in many ways,” said Ron Porter, the facilitator of the two-hour summit meeting. “Our job is not to accentuate or accelerate the polarities but to identify the common ground.”

    Naturally their job has nothing to do with reporting news, but making up propaganda.

  • Anonymous

    Youtube. Tell the truth. Show the consequences. Think ‘Fitna’.

  • Soprano Fan

    It might have started a long time ago, when two men, Bud Yorkin and Norman Lear created “Good Times”, about a Bantu family in the Cabrini-Green housing projects in Chicago. I never watched that show, because I knew it was a bunch of mugabedung. One would think that life in Cabrini-Green revolved around Jimmie Walker yelling “Dynomite” at the top of his lungs.