Race and Class in the Media

The Rutherford Reader is a regional publication that is recklessly using stereotypes to incite fear and fuel aggression towards “others” in the community.

“In my opinion, the media is a double-edge sword,” said Rutherford County member Saleh Sbenaty. “It can be used to inform and educate people about news and important events, which is mostly the case. Or it can be a destructive tool that is used to divide the community by spreading bigotry, xenophobia, and unwarranted fear, which is the case with The Rutherford Reader.”

To begin addressing these problems that lead to community unrest, we collected examples of biases in local publications to get a sense of the story the media tells about the world and about your community.. 

We asked members and friends across the state to be on the lookout for racial stereotypes and negative portrayals of low-income and minority communities in their local print media and send them in to SOCM.

Some examples of things to look for included:

  1. Criminalization of Hispanics and immigrants, particularly by use of the word “illegal”
  2. Association of racial minorities and crime
  3. Association of Muslims with terrorism
  4. Negative portrayals of certain residential areas, neighborhoods, and parts of town


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