Reducing Race: News Themes in the 2008 Primaries

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Communications/Media Studies, New Media, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2010-09-29 07:01Z by Steven

Reducing Race: News Themes in the 2008 Primaries

The International Journal of Press/Politics
Volume 15, Number 4 (October 2010)
pages 375-400
DOI: 10.1177/1940161210372962

Catherine R. Squires, Cowles Professor of Journalism, Diversity and Equality
University of Minnesota

Sarah J. Jackson
University of Minnesota

This article presents a content analysis exploring how racial issues were addressed in newspaper and news magazine coverage of the 2008 Democratic primaries. Despite the presence of Latino and biracial candidates, discussion of race was limited by binary racial frames, resulting in the construction of racial groups as competing voting blocs (including frequent references to white voters) and few references to Barack Obama’s biracial heritage. The dominant framing constricted the range of racial issues to matters of interpersonal insensitivity and misguided statements and ignored matters of public policy and racial equity.

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