Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Paula M. Poindexter
Although the 1968 Kerner Commission report was not the first criticism of mainstream news media for failing to fairly report on African Americans, it has endured as a benchmark for measuring diversity progress. Officially the Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders , but informally cited as the Kerner report after its chairman, Illinois governor Otto Kerner, it partly blamed the news media for the riots that exploded in American urban centers during the summer of 1967 and reprimanded the press for its lack of diversity in both news coverage and newsroom employment. After a comprehensive analysis, the Kerner report leveled numerous criticisms at the press, including failing to communicate the difficulties of being black in America, not understanding or appreciating black culture and history or the black perspective, and not reporting on race relations with “wisdom, sensitivity, and expertise.” The report also scolded the journalism profession for ...