The cops killed Ma’Khia Bryant, Andrew Brown, Daunte Wright and George Floyd, but anti-Black media helped create the conditions for these murders. And this is nothing new.
Anti-Black racism has been part of our media system’s DNA since colonial times.1 Media organizations were complicit in the slave trade and profited off of chattel slavery; racist journalism has led to countless lynchings; Southern broadcast stations aired vociferous opposition to integration; and, in the 21st century, the media continue to prop up police and spread harmful narratives about Black people who have been murdered by cops.
We need newsrooms to do better. To stop parroting police narratives about Black people. And to trust and support Black journalists. We need newsrooms to do this for the future of our communities and the future of journalism alike.
In the spirit of fostering journalism as a public service, we’re calling on newsrooms to sign a pledge to care for Black communities and journalists. May there be no more journalism written with the blood of Black lives.
Media 2070 is a project of Free Press, working to radically transform who has the capital to tell their own stories by 2070 — 50 years from today. Visit mediareparations.org to learn more.
1. Media 2070: An Invitation to Dream Up Media Reparations, Media 2070 team, Free Press, October 2020