Monday, November 29, 2021


Tatiana Tackles Bias In The Press.

November 3, 2021 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) The New York Times, New York Post, and New York Daily News fall under the classification of establishment news. They do contain informative, political and international news, however, their local stories are often sensational, and they advocate only for the comfort of the upper and middle class white community, while maintaining a veil of objectivity.

Take for example, the murder of George Floyd. Compare the titles of the articles in the Black press, as represented by the New York Amsterdam News and that of the mainstream (white) press. The Amsterdam News headlines include: “The trial for Derek Chauvin, the officer who killed George Floyd,” “Floyd statues defaced on the eve of Chauvin sentencing,” and “GUILTY: Jury convicts Derek Chauvin for killing George Floyd.” They are clear and to the point, connecting the dots and displaying the facts. The articles from The New York Times and The New York Post are titled: “What to know about the trial of Derek Chauvin,” “George Floyd statue in Brooklyn is defaced with hate group’s symbol,” and “NYPD ready for protests following Derek Chauvin verdict.” The establishment press reports from the point of view of an outsider, observing the problem from a distance, but still eager to know all the details, especially details that could affect the outsiders.

new york post - new york times

Reporter Stephon Johnson of The Amsterdam News focuses more on the much needed reform of the judicial and policing systems, while Nicholas Burroughs and Tim Arango of The New York Times speak on behalf of “the city.” “The city has been on edge for weeks as the trial progressed and the city awaited the verdict, with many worrying that a not guilty ruling would bring renewed social unrest and chaos to a city that saw buildings set ablaze and widespread looting last year after the death of Mr. Floyd.” Their concern is for those affected by the social unrest which spilled over into affluent and middle class white neighborhoods and establishments. They are concerned that it might happen again if they do not outwardly appear to be allied with Floyd’s justice. Johnson, though, focuses on the Floyd family and how police officers will be held more accountable as a result of this murder and trial. “‘We must change the unjust criminal justice system, and patterns and practices of police abuse that we have endured for far too long, including the use of chokeholds, racial profiling of Black and Brown lives, and the wrongful conduct that permeated the system for generations,” Stephon Johnson quotes Rev. Al Sharpton in reference to the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. Johnson writes on behalf of the family and the black community fearful for their very lives, while Burroughs and Arango speak on behalf of the city of Minneapolis that is scared about damage to property.

Recently a statue of George Floyd in New York was defaced by a White supremacist, Neo-Nazi group called the Patriot Front. Arima Long of the Amsterdam News speaks to community members about their feelings about the vandalism while Al Watkins of the New York Times speaks to the artist. “It was so disrespectful for someone to come into our community because we can’t go into nobody else’s community, right? But you can come into our community and disrespect us. We were so devastated,” writes Long in the AmNews quoting a member of the community. Meanwhile, the Times articles quotes the artist, Chris Carnabuci, who says, “It does go to show you that the division is out there… The polarization exists.” It’s not mentioned that Carnabuci is not from the neighborhood, is not Black, and is not really affected at all by the vandalism, thus, ignoring the fact that white supremacists are targeting black communities. Instead, it seems to put the blame on both sides. Objectivity does not mean lack of emotion, it means presenting the first hand facts so one is able to develop their own interpretation without influence.

Following the conviction of Chauvin, the two sources focus on very different repercussions. The pictures displayed in The Amsterdam News show young black kids gathering in Harlem in response to the verdict, while the New York Post pictures multiple gatherings of cops preparing to corral these groups’ natural response to pain and anger. The first sentence of the Amsterdam News article reads, “Even as this trial was taking place, Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo were killed by police. Police in this nation wield far too much power and control in spaces where they simply do not belong.” The New York Post provides very little information on the trial and no information on the police brutality committed during the course of the trial. Instead we read that “some 300 officers were being deployed to Barclays Center, with several hundred cops also heading to locations across Manhattan.’’ This creates nothing but division between the city’s Black and Brown residents, the majority of the city’s population, and the NYPD.

Constantly on pins and needles, the establishment news is very careful not to offend wealthy and powerful interests that support and advertise in their papers. On the other hand, the Amsterdam News contains very few advertisements and relies on donations and voluntary subscriptions. They cover news from the standpoint of the Black and intersectional communities that are underrepresented in most media, while the Post and the Times are aligned clearly with the establishment.

Staff Writer; Tatiana Bonner-Varchola

 

 

 

 


Comments

One Response to “Tatiana Tackles Bias In The Press.”
  1. Arthur Lewin says:

    Tatiana, most people do not understand the stark differences between the local Black press and the establishment, largely white staffed and operated, press. ThyBlackman.com, itself, is an example of the Black press.