“In light of the recent police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade, journalists are faced, once again, with the task of making sense of black protest for the American public. It bears asking what media professionals have learned, not just in the six years since the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, spurred national outrage, but also in the decades, and centuries, of black American resistance.”

Sarah J. Jackson, a 2020 Andrew Carnegie Fellow and a presidential associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, writes in the Atlantic about the challenges that news media face when trying to communicate the complex realities of recent protests and details the ways in which their reporting can undermine social-movement protests and agendas.

Jackson argues, “How the news covers activism matters profoundly to a democracy because the media can influence public support or rejection of policies that might solve social ills such as racism and police brutality.”

Read Jackson’s full Atlantic article “The Headlines That Are Covering Up Police Violence.”

Black Lives Matter rally in solidarity with U.S. protests over death of George Floyd, Sydney, Australia, June 2, 2020 (Credit: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)