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WOUB’s Spectrum Podcast Explores Convergence of Race, Media & Politics


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WOUB’s Spectrum Podcast, hosted by Tom Hodson, embarks on a three-part weekly series examining issues surrounding race, media and politics and the interrelationships between the three topics.

Over the next three weeks, Spectrum will talk with an academic, a Pulitzer-prize winning reporter, and a documentarian/reporter/editor about portrayals of African Americans by the media and the changing political landscape for blacks under the President Donald Trump Administration.

Danielle Kilgore-e1490827340744We start with a conversation with Danielle Kilgo. She is receiving her doctorate from the University of Texas-Austin and next fall will start teaching in The Media School at Indiana University. Her research focus has been on analyzing the visual images of African Americans in the media. She contends that both Black men and women are often portrayed in an unfavorable light. She also has some interesting observations about photographing political candidates.

Prior to starting her academic life, Kilgo worked as a photographer, designer and writer – so she fully understands the job of collecting and portraying images of people in a fair and unWes-Lowery-e1490827294272[1]biased manner.

Next, we visited with Washington Post national reporter Wesley Lowery. He covers law enforcement and justice. He also has covered the racial situation in Ferguson, Missouri and the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement. In November, his book, They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement, was published.

Lowery discusses the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and media coverage of racial issues. He also talks about political rhetoric being used by politicians to “dehumanize” urban dwellers.

Wilbert-Cooper-300x211Finally, we feature Wilbert L. “Will” Cooper a Cleveland-born journalist who works as a Senior Editor for VICE Media in New York. He covers issues of race and law enforcement through a multimedia approach including long-form documentaries.

By being the son of two black police officers, he says he can better understand the tensions between the police and Black Americans. He looks at race and urban problems from a cultural perspective and laments standard media portrayals of urban life in America.

He asserts that situations are often mischaracterized by the way mainstream media frames issues.

Recently, Kilgo, Lowery and Cooper participated in the 2017 Schuneman Symposium for Photojournalism & New Media sponsored by the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism and the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University. This year’s Symposium focused, in part, on media and racial issues.

You can listen to these one-on-one podcasts over the next three weeks by subscribing on iTunes Podcasts Google Play,  or at NPR One.