Pew: Black Americans’ Experiences With News 

Just 14% of Black Americans are highly confident that Black people will be covered fairly in their lifetimes, saying that is extremely or very likely to happen. Far more (38%) think that is not too likely or not at all likely to happen, while an additional 40% say it is somewhat likely. Photo by Ayodeji Fatunla/Pexels



WASHINGTON, DC – A new Pew Research Center study reveals that most Black Americans believe news coverage about Black people is frequently more negative than reporting on other racial groups. While few expect this to improve soon, many see ways coverage could get better. In particular, ensuring all journalists understand issues impacting Black Americans is consistently seen as key.

The report, based on a survey of 4,742 U.S. Black adults from Feb. 22-March 5, 2023, and 9 online focus groups of Black Americans in July-August 2022, finds:

– Over half of Black adults believe news about Black people only covers certain segments or lacks key details, substantially higher than the share who say it covers a wide variety and reports fully. Just 14% think fair Black coverage is very/extremely likely in their lifetime.

– Large majorities say covering all sides and understanding historical context is extremely/very important for journalists covering Black issues. About half say advocating for Black people is too. Of those seeing racist/insensitive Black coverage, almost two-thirds say educating all journalists on Black issues would make things fairer. Substantial shares also cite including more Black sources, leaders, and journalists.

– Many Black Americans see Black journalists as better at reporting on race issues and understanding them. But few believe their news must come from Black journalists or that journalist race affects story credibility. For instance, only 14% say it’s highly important that any news they get comes from Black journalists.

– Concerns about Black coverage cross party lines, with Republicans and Democrats both identifying problems like stereotyping. Black Americans with more education/income also tend to be more negative.

– Views vary based on Black identity, with those saying being Black is highly personally important, valuing historical context in stories much more.

– At least a third get news extremely/fairly often from local/national outlets, social media, and friends/family. A quarter use Black outlets extremely/fairly often.

The margin of error is +/- 2.1 percentage points. The links regarding this story will be on