News media’s racial reckoning


Emeri Burks conducted in-depth interviews with 12 journalists as part of her work to earn a master’s degree from the Missouri School of Journalism. Burks is currently an independent journalist publishing under the label EB Words ( on human rights, social justice and international relations.

The two months after George Floyd’s murder in 2020, Google searches for “racism” spiked to levels not seen in more than a decade. American support for Black Lives Matter topped 50% (including 60% of white Americans). Racism became newsworthy, and in response a surge of predominantly Black journalists openly reported on what it’s like to be a person of color in an industry dominated by white culture.

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