The Barack Benefit? A Content Analysis of How News Coverage of America’s First African American Presidential Family Alters the Overall Presentation of Blacks in News

Christopher S. Josey, Travis L. Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A content analysis of over 1-year worth of online news coverage was undertaken to assess the impact of the election of Barack Obama, America’s first Black President, on the overall portrayal of Blacks in the news. Specifically, we investigated whether the potential positive coverage of President Obama and his family displaced more stereotypic coverage of Blacks in the news than simply adding to existing stereotypical portrayals. Results indicate that Blacks achieved greater frequency in coverage compared with prior analyses. However, pervasive stereotyping and negative characterizations of Blacks persisted. Explanations for the minimal impact of the Obama family on the overall presentation of Blacks are discussed within the context of trait attribution and media stacking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-549
Number of pages21
JournalJournalism and Mass Communication Quarterly
Volume100
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2023

Keywords

  • African Americans
  • Blacks
  • Obama
  • media
  • news
  • presidency
  • race
  • stereotyping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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