The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



College hosts lecture on race in the media

Carolynn Smith | Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Media expert Callie Crossley discussed the ways people of color have been portrayed in the media during her lecture “Race and Media: Everything Old is New Again” at Saint Mary’s on Tuesday night.
“Media representations of people of color have not changed though out the years,” said Crossley, the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. “This is how to create a single story about a group of people, to show those people as one thing and then show that one thing over and over again.”
Crossley hosts a new daily talk show on WGBH-FM Radio, “The Callie Crossley Show.” The show covers topics such as current events, local happenings, arts and culture. 
“I got into this business to make a difference. My whole career has been about telling the stories right and truthfully,” Crossley said.
Crossley shared personal experiences she has come across during her work. She spoke about racism toward her and her co-workers.
“Post-racial or not, the racial stereotypes have not gone away but have been revised for modern times. Everything old is new again,” Crossley said.
A current survey about the racial society in the media showed many people still believe there is not enough diversity in the newsroom, and there is still a lack of acceptable coverage of racial issues.
“Every time we see it, it feels like a slap in the face,” Crossley said.
Crossley said she hopes more change will come in future generations, but she is aware action needs to be taken now.
“We need to learn to challenge and question what we see. That is why I’m doing what I’m doing,” Crossley said. “We need to speak up in the moment.”
Crossley is an award-winning broadcast journalist, documentary filmmaker and television and radio commentator, and she offers regular commentary on a number of television programs.

Crossley produced “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Year,” the critically acclaimed documentary series which earned her an Oscar nomination and major film and journalism awards. For the last eight years, Crossley has served as program manager for the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.