They point out that most coverage they analyzed was episodic, about a new report or the latest crime. Instead, they suggest “news media commit to reflexively exploring their community over the long haul, rather than reactively reporting on events as they arise. … This would mean a change in priorities, perhaps ditching the meeting in favor of a community dinner.”
Their conclusion was edgy: “Through their embrace of value-neutral and facts-only reporting, many Madison news outlets failed to build trust, diversify their sourcing, and tell the true stories of race.”
They wrote that reporters “have been schooled that they cannot have ‘skin in the game’ on any issue. They should not sign petitions, put bumper stickers on their cars, or plant a political sign in their yards.” Yet those reporters’ own life experiences vary around race, class, education, upbringing and social circles. “In covering race, their skin, quite literally, is in the game,” the authors argued.
This raises the question of the importance of employing a diverse staff, something the Cap Times and others struggle with. Our only full-time African-American journalist resigned recently to pursue her dream of law school in Washington, D.C. We are happy for her and sorry she left. She made a big contribution.
Much more on the aborted Madison Preparatory Academy IB Charter School, here.
Madison continues to spend more than most on a non diverse largely one size fits all K-12 structure.