Have Things Improved?
What has changed, if anything, since the Rodney King
beating? By Janine Sutherlin
Sreenath Sreenivasan is a
professor of journalism at Columbia University and a
co-founder of the South Asian Journalists Association, a group
of more than 800 journalists across the United States and
Q: In the 10 years since the Rodney King beating, how do
you think coverage of ethnic minorities has changed?
A: America and the media have changed
significantly since the beating. The immigration patterns of
the last decade have made the country more multicultural.
There is clearly more awareness of ethnic minorities among
editors and the need to cover them better. In many cases, the
coverage is much improved. In others, there is still a lot
that falls between the cracks. Overall, I think there has been
an improvement, though there's still work to be done. I hear
the topic coming up more often in newsrooms, panels and
Q: What is the significance of the 10-year anniversary
A: It's a chance to reflect on one of the most
pivotal series of events on the last century -- not just for
U.S. society, but also for journalism. We are still learning
lessons from those events.
Q: What can working journalists do to improve coverage
of ethnic minority groups?
A: Be sure to really study the Census results
and get to know what they mean.
The interview was conducted by
News Watch researcher Janine Sutherlin. She can be reached by
e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org