Joseph Torres & Collette Watson on Media for Social Justice

We’re now seeing the impacts of the reality that corporate media, as well as corporate-funded universities, will always side with official power—as they present students sitting quietly in tents in protest of genocide as violent terrorists. But the fact is, we’ve been seeing it for decades, as corporate media spin narratives about people of color as both violent and lazy, and the socio-economic status quo as the best possible option, even as millions of people increasingly recognize that it means a terrible life for them.

Many people, at the same time, are deeply interested in how different media, telling different stories, can change our understanding of our past, our present and our future. Joseph Torres is currently senior advisor for reparative policy and programs at the group Free Press, and co-author with Juan Gonzalez of News for All the People. Writer, musician and communications strategist Collette Watson is with Black River Life. They both are part of the project Media 2070, which aims to highlight how media can serve as a lever for racial justice, and how that includes changing entrenched media narratives about Black people.

Their co-authored article, “Repairing Journalism’s History of Anti-Black Harm,” appears in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (5/23).

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