MIT Communications Forum: Race, Politics and American Media (2009)

The election of an African-American president in Nov. 2008 was hailed as a transforming event. But has Obama's ascension transformed anything? Many people’s answer to that question changed in 2009 when a famous Harvard professor was arrested at his home in Cambridge. Are the harsh realities of race and class in the U.S. clearer now or murkier, following the media tsunami of Gatesgate? And has this polarizing event given greater visibility to racial minorities in the media's coverage of politics? How are race issues and racial politics covered in our national media, and what are the implications of the demise of major city newspapers for the coverage of race and politics?

Juan Williams of NPR and Fox News discussed these and related questions in a candid conversation with Phillip Thompson, associate professor of urban politics in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, and David Thorburn, professor of literature and director of the Communications Forum at MIT.

MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Recorded: 8 October 2009

Timeline: 2000s
School: School of Architecture and PlanningSchool of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Department: Comparative Media Studies/WritingUrban Studies and Planning
Career: Government & Law
Object: Video
Collection: Faculty, Harvard, Rising Voices 1995-Present