1st Edition

Reporting Inequality Tools and Methods for Covering Race and Ethnicity

By Sally Lehrman, Venise Wagner Copyright 2019
    314 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    314 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Continue Shopping

    Under increasingly intense newsroom demands, reporters often find it difficult to cover the complexity of topics that deal with racial and social inequality. This path-breaking book lays out simple, effective reporting strategies that equip journalists to investigate disparity’s root causes.

    Chapters discuss how racially disparate outcomes in health, education, wealth/income, housing, and the criminal justice system are often the result of inequity in opportunity and also provide theoretical frameworks for understanding the roots of racial inequity. Examples of model reporting from ProPublica, the Center for Public Integrity, and the San Jose Mercury News showcase best practice in writing while emphasizing community-based reporting. Throughout the book, tools and practical techniques such as the Fault Lines framework, the Listening Post and the authors' Opportunity Index and Upstream-Downstream Framework all help journalists improve their awareness and coverage of structural inequity at a practical level.

    For students and journalists alike, Reporting Inequality is an ideal resource for understanding how to cover structures of injustice with balance and precision.


    PART I: A New Framework for Covering Race

    Chapter 1 The Individual in Context

    Sally Lehrman and Venise Wagner

    Chapter 2 Structural Racism

    Alden Loury

    Chapter 3 The Accumulation and Disaccumulation of Opportunity

    Michael Brown, Martin Carnoy, Elliot Currie, Troy Duster, David Oppenheimer, Majorie M. Shultz, and David Wellman – An excerpt from White Washing Race.

    Chapter 4 Implicit Bias

    Satia A. Marotta, Simon Howard and Samuel R. Sommers

    Chapter 5 The Colorblind Conundrum

    Sally Lehrman and Venise Wagner

    PART II: How Opportunity Works

    Chapter 6 Reporting the Story Upstream

    Sally Lehrman and Venise Wagner

    Chapter 7 The Opportunity Index

    Sally Lehrman and Venise Wagner

    PART III: Best Practices

    Chapter 8 Interviewing Across Difference

    Omedi Ochieng

    Chapter 9 Avoiding Stereotypes and Stigma

    Sue Ellen Christian

    Chapter 10 Using Fault Lines in Reporting

    Marquita S. Smith

    Chapter 11 Building Relationships in Under-covered Communities

    Keith Woods

    Box: The Chicken and the Listening Post

    Angie Chuang

    PART IV: Case Studies

    Chapter 12 Case Studies Introduction

    Case Study A Reporting Opportunity in Health

    Sally Lehrman

    Case Study B Sometimes School Segregation Comes From Race Neutral Policies

    Venise Wagner

    Case Study C Exploring the Wealth/Income Gap

    Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

    Case Study D When Housing Separates Us

    Nikole Hannah-Jones

    Case Study E Gaps in the Social Safety Net

    Karen de Sá

    Case Study F The Path to Legal Status Isn’t So Clear Cut

    Susan Ferriss




    Sally Lehrman is an award-winning reporter on medicine and science policy with an emphasis on race, gender and social diversity. Her byline credits include Scientific American, Nature, Health, the Boston Globe, the New York Times, Salon.com and The DNA Files, three public radio series distributed by NPR. Honors include a Peabody Award, a duPont-Columbia Award, and the JSK Fellowship at Stanford University. She started and leads the Trust Project, a global network of newsrooms that is addressing the misinformation crisis through transparency.

    Venise Wagner is a professor of journalism at San Francisco State University, where she has taught since 2001. She has a 12-year career as a reporter for several California dailies, including the Orange County Register, the San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle. She has covered border issues, religion and ethics, schools and education, urban issues and issues in the San Francisco Bay Area's various black communities.