Tips on Covering Race & Ethnicity

“Be pro-active, not reactive. Tell stories that provide background and context FIRST. We’ve tried to avoid two traps some media organizations, including The Bee, have fallen into:

  • The ‘minority of the week’ story (writing about minorities for the sake of writing about minorities, i.e., ‘Here are our Latinos!’).
  • The ‘minority bad news story of the week’ (writing about people of color whenever there’s a problem, i.e., violence in minority neighborhoods). Those certainly are stories, but they go down a lot easier when you’ve provided context, and written stories emphasizing other aspects of minority life.

One big-picture story is worth 20 briefs. It lays a positive foundation, so when it comes time to write a critical story (i.e., the high welfare rate among Hmong and Iu Mien), you’ve got sources, they trust you, and they realize you’ve been fair to them.” Stephen Magagnini of The Sacramento Bee

Tips on Covering Race & EthnicityPenn State U)

Apparently this was reproduced as part of a journalism class. Via Donna Hibbs.