A study by the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) examined episodes of CNN’s “After Words” (March 2008-January 2010) and of the New York Times Book Reviews (January 2009-February 2010) focused on politically themed books. Their finding was this:
The New York Times Book Review and C-SPAN’s book show ‘After Words’ share an exceedingly narrow view of whose political books deserve review—and who is fit to discuss these books. …
White and male authors, reviewers and interviewers overwhelmingly dominated these important media venues for discussion of newly published books.“Ideological diversity is vitally important,” the study’s authors conclude, “but book discussions heavily dependent on white male authors, reviewers and commentators do more than deny full voice to women and people of color—who, together, represent far more than half the U.S. population.”
The censor’s quotas loaded up with white male authors, reviewers and commentators “also deprive ALL readers and viewers of exposure to the variety of experiences and sensibilities women and people of color would bring to discussions.”
Sources and notes
“Who Gets to Review and Be Reviewed? Authors, book critics drawn from narrow pool” (Steve Rendall, Zachary Tomanelli, Research assistance, Daniel de Corral), Extra! Magazine, August 2010, http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4119; http://www.fair.org
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting [FAIR], founded in 1986, is a national media watch group offering well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship.
FAIR works to invigorate the First Amendment by advocating for greater diversity in the press and by scrutinizing media practices that marginalize public interest, minority and dissenting viewpoints.
As an anti-censorship organization, FAIR exposes neglected news stories and defends working journalists when they are muzzled. FAIR is a progressive group that believes structural reform is ultimately needed to break up the dominant media conglomerates, to establish independent public broadcasting, and to promote strong non-profit sources of information.
FAIR works with activists and journalists and maintains regular dialogue with reporters at news outlets across the country, providing constructive critiques when called for and applauding exceptional, hard-hitting journalism. FAIR encourages the public to contact media with their concerns, to become media activists rather than passive consumers of news. FAIR publishes Extra, a hard-hitting magazine of media criticism, and produces the weekly radio program CounterSpin, a show that goes behind the headlines to bring news. http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=100