‘Straight Up!’ Talk About Covering Race, Violence, Policing

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Murphy (left), Thompson (center) and Clifton on the set of Straight Up!

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Murphy (left), Thompson (center) and Clifton on the set of Straight Up!

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Editor’s Note: On February 2, 2016, Juan Thompson’s editors at The Intercept published a note to readers that indicated he had fabricated elements of his reporting. Some of the stories that have been retracted or corrected may have been ones he referred to during the interview below, although The Intercept made clear that some of Thompson’s reportage did hold up under their review. Fabrication scandals undermine the work of all journalists, including those who cover the painful subject of American racism, the vast majority of whom work diligently and ethically. The allegations are especially damaging in this case, ironically, because so much of what Thompson said during our BRIC encounter about race and power is unassailable truth.
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If there’s one topic where notions of “media objectivity” are rendered most absurd, it’s race. There certainly are journalists who lack religion, and there probably are a few who have no political beliefs to speak of, but no one is an uninvolved bystander when it comes to skin color. Nor is there a topic where the media’s coverage has been so deeply chronically flawed or so important to the broader public getting at least some understanding of the reality race in America.

Straight Up!, the reporter roundtable show on Brooklyn Independent Media that I’m very proud to host, had Juan Thompson of the Intercept and Derrick Clifton of Mic News on to discuss the coverage of the Baltimore protests and recent police killings and the larger issue of how mass media—and social media—deal with race. It’s definitely worth a watch.

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  • RIKKI

    WE NEED A WAR ON EBONICS! There is really only one way to end
    all this…its behavior and functional illiteracy that is the
    overwhelming problem..not race or politics.

    There was no white flight in schools, parents saw the next generation of kids on a jail track and not a college one, so they moved and guess what? so did blacks.

    If you apply for public assistance you must sit in class 15-20 hours a week and learn English and Math for your EBT card….your FB page must be in your own name…there was no Trayvon Martin FB page but there was a gangsta one, and you must respond in English not ghetto

    Let the prisoners decide how long they want to stay in jail…..cool idea…its up to you…..all you need to do is read and discuss the New York Times in front of a parole
    board and ask for a second chance…that could take 5 or 50 years their choice……the problem is NOT racial discrimination, but severe functional illiteracy and we need to break the chains.