Advertisement

An Analysis of Anti-Black Crime Reporting in Toronto: Evidence from News Frames and Critical Race Theory

  • Wesley Crichlow
  • Sharon Lauricella
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Crime, Media and Culture book series (PSCMC)

Abstract

Modern media representations of Blacks as violent and criminal (Crichlow 2009, 2014) have contributed to the construction of Blacks, and particularly Black males, as ensconced in a life of crime, poverty, and violence. The issue of media depiction of Black males is particularly important in the present age—coined “post-racial”—after Barack Obama’s presidential victory in 2008. Politics constitutes a variant of the post-racial era in Canada, where political parties have sought out racial minority candidates in predominantly Black, ethnic, and racialised communities. This was most evident in the appointment of Canada’s first Black Governor, General Michaelle Jean, in 2005. In general, however, media reports about Toronto’s Black communities address violence, gangs, and crime, and are anecdotally recognised as reporting Blacks as academic underachievers, recipients of child welfare, overrepresented in youth correctional facilities, and living in abject poverty (Crichlow 2014). Entman and Rojecki (2000) suggest that print media and television visually construct poverty as nearly synonymous with Blacks and that surveys show that whites typically accept this view. In this sense, news—whether print or visual—encourages the acceptance of the prototypical Black as poor and the prototypical poor person as Black (Entman and Rojecki 2000, p. 102). These anti-black working class racist stereotypes besmirch the image of Black men who are either not poor or are from middle and upper class groups (Collins 2004; Poindexter et al. 2003).

References

  1. Bell, D. A. (1992). Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  2. Benjamin, A. (2003). The Black/Jamaican Criminal: The Making of Ideology. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. Toronto: University of Toronto.Google Scholar
  3. Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing Grounded Theory: A Practical Guide Through Qualitative Analysis. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  4. Collins, P. (2004). Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender and the New Racism. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Crenshaw, K., Gotanda, N., Peller, G., & Thomas, K. (Eds.). (1995). Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings. New York, NY: The New Press.Google Scholar
  6. Crichlow, W. (2009). How Far Have Our Courts Come and How Far Will They Go? Racializing Courts and Racializing Judgments. In R. Barmaki (Ed.), Racism Culture & Law: Critical Readings – A Collection of Essays (pp. 43–67). Toronto, ON: APF Press.Google Scholar
  7. Crichlow, W. (2014). Weaponization & Prisonization of Toronto Black Youth. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 3(3), 113–113. Retrieved from https://www.crimejusticejournal.com/issue/view/14
  8. Delgado, R., & Stefancic, J. (1995). Critical Race Theory. New York, NY: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Delgado, D. J., Lin, W. Y., & Coffey, M. (1995). The Role of Hispanic Race/Ethnicity and Poverty in Breast Cancer Survival. Puerto Rico Health Sciences Journal, 14(2), 103–116.Google Scholar
  10. Dickerson, D. L. (2001). Framing “Political Correctness”: The New York Times’ Tale of Two Professors. In S. D. Reese, O. H. Gandy Jr., & A. E. Grant (Eds.), Framing Public Life: Perspectives on Media and Our Understanding of the Social World (pp. 163–174). New York: Digital Printing 2010 by Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Dimitrova, D. V., & Connolly-Ahern, C. (2007). A Tale of Two Wars: Framing Analysis of Online News Sites in Coalition Countries and the Arab World During the Iraq War. The Howard Journal of Communication, 18(2), 153–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Douai, A., & Lauricella, S. (2014). The “Terrorism” Frame in “Neo-Orientalism”: Western News and the Sunni-Shia Muslim Sectarian Relations After 9/11. International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics, 10(1), 7–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Drummond, W. (1990). About Face: From Alliance to Alienation Blacks in the News Media. The American Enterprise, 1(4), 24–29.Google Scholar
  14. Du Bois, W. E. B. (1903). The Souls of Black Folk. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
  15. Entman, R. M. (1991). Framing U.S. Coverage of International News: Contrasts in Narratives of the KAL and Iran Air Incidents. Journal of Communication, 41(4), 6–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Entman, R. M. (1992). Blacks in the News: Television, Modern Racism and Cultural Change. Journalism Quarterly, 69(2), 341–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Entman, R. (1993). Framing: Toward Clarification of a Fractured Paradigm. Journal of Communication, 43, 41–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Entman, R. M. (2004). Projections of Power: Framing News, Public Opinion, and US Foreign Policy. University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  19. Entman, R. M., & Rojecki, A. (2000). The Black Image in the White Mind: Media and Race in America. Chicago: University of Chicago.Google Scholar
  20. Evans, C. K. (2015). Past President, American Name Society. cevans@bellevue.edu, (402), 557–7524.Google Scholar
  21. Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research. Chicago: Aldine Publishing.Google Scholar
  22. Globe Tops National Newspaper Awards with Five Winners. (2015, May 22). The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/awards/national-newspaper-awards/article24579253/
  23. Globelink.ca. (2016). The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from http://globelink.ca/platforms/newspaper/?source=gamnewspaper
  24. Goffman, E. (1974). Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  25. Hall, S. (2003). The Whites of Their Eyes: Racist Ideologies and the Media. In G. Dines & J. M. Humez (Eds.), Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Text Reader (pp. 89–93). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  26. Iverson, S. V. (2007). Camouflaging Power and Privilege: A Critical Race Analysis of University Diversity Policies. Educational Administration Quarterly, 43(5), 586–611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mastro, D. E., Blecha, E., & Atwell Seate, A. (2011). Characterizations of Criminal Athletes: A Systematic Examination of Sports News Depictions of Race and Crime. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 55(4), 526–542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Matsuda, M. (1996). Where is Your Body: And Other Essays on Race, Gender, and the Law. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  29. Pan, Z., & Kosicki, G. M. (1996). Assessing News Media Influences on the Formation of Whites’ Racial Policy Preferences. Communication Research, 23(2), 147–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Poindexter, P., Smith, L., & Heider, D. (2003). Race and Ethnicity in Local Television News: Framing, Story Assignments, and Source Selections. Journal of Broadcast & Electronic Media, 47, 524–540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Ribeau, S., Baldwin, J., & Hecht, M. (1997). An African-American Communication Perspective. In L. Samovar & R. Porter (Eds.), Intercultural Communication: A Reader (8th ed., pp. 147–153). Belmont CA: Wadsworth.Google Scholar
  32. Robinson, A. (2015, March 16). BlackLivesMatter: The Evolution of a Movement. Occupy. Retrieved from http://www.occupy.com/article/black-lives-matter-evolution-movement
  33. Ryan, C., Carragee, K. M., & Meinhofer, W. (2001). Theory into Practice: Framing, the News Media, and Collective Action. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 45, 175–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tator, C., & Henry, F. (2006). Racial Profiling in Canada: Challenging the Myth of a Few Bad Apples. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  35. Turnage, A. K. (2009). Scene, Act, and the Tragic Frame in the Duke Rape Case. Southern Communication Journal, 74(2), 141–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 2014 Word of the Year Is “#BlackLivesMatter.” (2015, January 9). American Dialect Society. Retrieved from http://www.americandialect.org/2014-word-of-the-year-is-blacklivesmatter
  37. Valdes, F., Culp, J. M., & Harris, A. (Eds.). (2002). Crossroads, Directions and a New Critical Race Theory. Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Yancy, G., & Butler, J. (2015, January 12). What’s Wrong with ‘All Lives Matter?’ New York Times. Retrieved from http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/01/12/whats-wrong-with-all-lives-matter/?r=0

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wesley Crichlow
    • 1
  • Sharon Lauricella
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Ontario Institute of TechnologyOshawaCanada

Personalised recommendations