It has been 50 years since the Kerner Commission argued that the legacy media presented a world through “white eyes” and with a “white perspective,” yet countless studies have demonstrated that communities of color continue to be misrepresented on a daily basis. This study will attempt to find answers to this problem via conversations with journalists of color and sources of color within the Pittsburgh area, a location often represented in the media as one of the most “livable cities in the nation.” Specifically, this study will attempt to answer this question as it pertains to the Steel City through a series of interviews and focus groups with stakeholders of color within the Pittsburgh region. One group, journalists of color who have worked in Pittsburgh-area newsrooms, will be asked to discuss their perceptions regarding news coverage in the city. They will also be asked to discuss the level of agency they believe journalists of color are given to impact change within newsrooms. Additionally, as a means of understanding how sources of color are treated within the news media, interviews and focus groups will also be conducted with various community leaders of color heavily involved within the subaltern public sphere of Pittsburgh. Additionally, all sources will also be asked to give their perspectives on how they fare on an everyday life basis as individuals of color within Pittsburgh. This will be done to determine if the marginalization communities of color may face within the media is actually a representation of the mistreatment of communities of color within the city on a global, everyday basis. It is the hope that this work will move to present a holistic understanding of the place communities of color have within the Pittsburgh media ecosystem.
Project lead: Letrell Crittenden