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Mainstream Media in Baltimore

by Robert Jensen

Karen Attiah, the Washington Post’s Opinions Deputy Digital Editor, masterfully skewers both the mainstream media and the arrogance of the United States in “How Western media would cover Baltimore if it happened elsewhere.” She begins the piece

If what is happening in Baltimore happened in a foreign country, here is how Western media would cover it:

International leaders expressed concern over the rising tide of racism and state violence in America, especially concerning the treatment of ethnic minorities in the country and the corruption in state security forces around the country when handling cases of police brutality. The latest crisis is taking place in Baltimore, Maryland, a once-bustling city on the country’s Eastern Seaboard, where an unarmed man named Freddie Gray died from a severed spine while in police custody.

and goes on to mimic the typical U.S. news report about strife in other countries.

But the Washington Post and other mainstream news sources have provided less than stellar coverage, as pointed out by the media activists at Fairness and Accuracy in Media.

The NPR show On the Media did an excellent segment this week on the coverage, “Baltimore’s Feedback Loop,” featuring Peniel Joseph, professor of history and founding director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University.

Among the many commentators worth reading is Ta-Nehisi Coates, a national correspondent at The Atlantic.