To better understand how the local media portray Boston's black community, I monitored news reports from a sample of newspapers and radio and television stations for one month during the summer of 1986. I noted the roles blacks played, the activities blacks were shown to be engaged in, and the events that brought blacks into the news. By comparing the portrayal of blacks in Boston's major media with portrayals in the black media, I sought to understand the criteria that reporters and editors use to judge the newsworthiness of items relating to the black community, and to determine whether (and why) the images broadcast about blacks were or were not representative.



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