On June 28, 2001, the Shorenstein Center sponsored a conference in Washington, DC on race and the press. The objective of the conference was to examine the complicated entwining of race and media from both local and national perspectives. Former President Bill Clinton chose this occasion to make his first public address in Washington since leaving office. The intent of the conference was to take a clear-eyed look at the interaction of media and race as it existed in mid-2001. We did not seek to be definitive or encyclopedic, but instead to bring as sharp a focus as possible to the issues the panelists regard as the important ones. North Carolina State University’s Professor Robert Entman, wrote this report based on the issues discussed at the conference, such as:
- Are the news media doing an adequate job covering the news of a progressively more diverse society in which members of the long-dominant white, Euro-American ethnic groups are heading toward minority status?
- If the media exhibit deficiencies in covering multicultural America, exactly what should be done, and how much can be done given the economic pressures that constrain all media organizations?
- Should news personnel consciously take race and ethnicity into account when choosing and reporting the news, or are ethnic identities best left out of journalists’ calculations?