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NYT Blogger Who Knocked Fox News' Audience Diversity Has the Same Problem

5 years ago
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Brian Stelter, who reports on TV and digital media for The New York Times, sent out a tweet the other day that drew lots of attention.

As Stelter tweeted,
"Fox, as we all know, has biggest audience in prime time. But among African Americans, it's smallest -- 29k vs. 134k for CNN, 145k for MSNBC."
This of course, played into the "Fox is racist" meme, and, not surprisingly, Stelter's words were retweeted many times (and also inspired several media blogs to further discuss Fox News' lack of diversity).

Interestingly, though, the media site where Stelter primarily blogs (New York Times' Media Decoder) suffers from the lowest percentage of African-American readers (4.6%)
when compared to comparable media sites like Mediaite (5.8%), Gawker (6.4%), Mediabistro (9.2%), etc., according to Nielsen Media Research.

Maybe he should have checked that first?

(In case you're worried that I might be making the same mistake, according to Nielsen, Politics Daily has a larger percentage of African-American readership (7.7%) than Stelter's blog -- and also has a larger share of the African-American readership than other prominent, comparable political sites).

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Last time I checked, people, regardless of race, were free to choose what websites they choose to read. I seriously wonder how many Caucasians, Hispanics, Asians, etc, read sites like Chocolate City, Black Jesus, Net Noir, or EbonyJet for their news. Doesn't that make those sites racist as well?

August 01 2010 at 9:47 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

MSNBC? There's your answer.

August 01 2010 at 8:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

About 25 years ago, The Washington Post had the same problem. It had written a story about businesses that didn't have that right share of blacks. It was pointed out to the Post that it did not have one black person in the newsroom. Oops!

July 31 2010 at 4:04 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

It is my understanding that for many years the federal government has mandated there be no public descripton of criminal activity along racial categories. Why? Why should it matter the race of the viewing audience? Is Stelter attempting to push a racial agenda? What do you think?

July 31 2010 at 2:34 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply

This may be true but whats the point? 90% of blacks voted for Obama and I suspect the % of blacks who are democrats is about the same. So why would they watch Fox? Does Fox have a conservitive bent? Of course, just as all of MSNBC and CNN to a degree have a progressive bent. Blacks have in effect sold their vote to the Democrat party because the Democrats provide them with programs and checks. Sorry but thats the truth. At a voting rate of 90% it seems to me that blacks have just traded one master for another. You have no power when your vote is known. Your taken for granted.

July 31 2010 at 10:07 AM Report abuse +16 rate up rate down Reply

Judging people by their skin color is ignorant, backward, and racist and yet some people have an obsession with skin color.

My real question is: what is the eye color of the viewers of each of those networks. That, after all is about as relevant to anything as skin color.

July 31 2010 at 8:55 AM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply

Matt, this is the major difference between those on the left, and tea party'ers. notice i didn't necessarily say "the right".

If you go to a tea party event, and ask "what percentage of the people here are african american? and if it's not equal to the population, you're obviously racist!"
you will not find an answer. do you know why? BECAUSE WE DO NOT CARE WHAT THE COLOR OF YOUR SKIN IS. there is no one with survey's taking down everyone's racial makeup and tabulating it, there is no one asking your country of origin, there is no one figuring out everyone's ethnic makeup. we care only if you love your country and want the best for it.

Martin Luther King's line, about a future in which people are judged by their character and NOT, i have to repeat, NOT JUDGED ON THE COLOR OF THEIR SKIN, is a future that has arrived! it is HERE. and it exists not on the left, not in the NAACP, and nowhere where racial demographics are tabulated and fretted over. it exists where people gather and celebrate their country with other people who share the common concern about where this country they love is heading, and honestly do not care about the shade of the hand that is holding the american flag.


July 30 2010 at 5:48 PM Report abuse +31 rate up rate down Reply

Perhaps the low viewership of Fox News by blacks explains their lack of being adequately informed about the serious issues confronting our country. It also explains why, despite all of the evidence to date showing the consequences of the administration's disastrous economic policies, blacks still support him in numbers not seen since the old Soviet Union!

Racism is NOT the reason that they trail almost every other demographic in this country economically, and educatioanlly. I wonder what the school dropout rate is amomg Fox Viewers versus blacks. How about the illegitmacy rate. The crime rate! The incarcaration rate. Nuff said!

July 30 2010 at 2:43 PM Report abuse +38 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to tmoschetti's comment

Ahhh, the refreshing sound of TRUTH. Thank you Mr.Lewis.

July 30 2010 at 2:07 PM Report abuse +20 rate up rate down Reply

First, the idea that FOX News is the only biased network on air is absurd. In fact, all the other networks lean to the left to varying degrees, only partisan fools believe otherwise. Second, it is patently illogical to use the percentage of minorities that watch a particular show or network as a gauge of whether or not that show/network is racist. Let's face it, most of us have been lied to about FOX News and it biases. We've been told endlessly how it is "right wing" media run by hardcore Republicans. Given this, and the fact that 90% of African-Americans are Democrats, they probably do not feel FOX is for them. In essence, the rest of the media drives minorities away from FOX, probably because they fear those who watch just might learn something different than what they know to be true. Demcrats rely heavily on the black vote to win elections. They cannot afford to have votes siphoned off from this group, so they disparage FOX News, and other more right leaning media, in an effort to discredit anything that is reported in those outlets.

July 30 2010 at 2:06 PM Report abuse +38 rate up rate down Reply

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