"It's Racist": Nieman Journalism Lab Calls For Media to Stop Covering Local Crime Stories

Chris Menahan
Dec. 17, 2020

News outlets should "defund the crime beat" to fight racism, according to Nieman Journalism Lab, a leftist think tank which tells journos what to do.

From Nieman Journalism Lab, "Defund the crime beat":
Let's be honest: Crime coverage is terrible.

It's racist, classist, fear-based clickbait masking as journalism. It creates lasting harm for the communities that newsrooms are supposed to serve. And because it so rarely meets the public's needs, it's almost never newsworthy, despite what Grizzled Gary in his coffee-stained shirt says from his perch at the copy desk.

This should be the year where we finally abolish the crime beat. Study after study shows how the media's overemphasis on crime makes people feel less safe than they really are and negatively shapes public policy around the criminal--legal system. And study after study shows that itís racist and inhumane.

While crime coverage fails to serve the public, it does serve three powerful constituencies: white supremacy, law enforcement, and newsrooms -- specifically a newsroom's bottom line.
Indeed, it doesn't serve the public to have them knowing what's going on around them.

San Francisco Chief of Police William Scott announced earlier this year he was going to ban publishing most perps mug shots because "research" suggests they create an "illusory correlation" associating "black and brown men" with criminal behavior.

Gannett and other media conglomerates also announced they were going to stop publishing mug shots for the same reason.

What the public desperately needs is more cutting-edge journalism about how everything is racist!

Thank you, Nieman Journalism Lab!

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