© 2020

Reporting on Race in a Digital Era


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Back Matter
    Pages 233-236

About this book


This book explores U.S. news media’s 21st century reckoning with race, from the election of President Barack Obama, through the birth and growth of the Black Lives Matter movement, to the tense weeks after a white police officer killed an unarmed African American teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. While legacy newsrooms struggled to interpret complex events, a diverse group of digital storytellers used emerging technologies. Veteran journalist and media scholar Carolyn Nielsen examines how the first two decades of this century produced new models for journalists to explore the complexity of racism, amplify the voices of lived experience, and understand their audiences. Using critical analysis of news coverage and interviews with reporters who cover racial issues, the book shows how new models of journalism break with legacy journalism’s conceptions of objectivity, expertise, and news judgment to provide deeper understanding of systems of power.


Digital journalism Reporting Race Social Media Critical Race Theory Democratic Theory

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Western Washington UniversityBellinghamUSA

About the authors

Carolyn Nielsen is Associate Professor of Journalism at Western Washington University, USA. Her research examines newsroom sociology, technology, and news coverage of racial issues. Prior to becoming a Professor, she spent a decade working as an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor.

Bibliographic information


“An important book that brings to light the changes in American journalism after public pushback to the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. Not only does the book provide a history of racially biased news coverage in the USA, but it also offers a service by providing frameworks for journalists to make media representations more accurate and fair. This knowledge is valuable to scholars, professionals and the public.” (Tracy Everbach, Professor at Mayborn School of Journalism, University of North Texas, USA)

“Mainstream news coverage of race in America has been stereotypical, inaccurate, unchanging, and defensive for decades. But new journalists, new mindsets, and new technologies are changing this. This important book captures the moments when the shifts began, why they occurred and who led the way, and where we are likely headed.” (David Domke, Professor of Communication, University of Washington, USA)