WINNER OF THE NATIONAL PRESS CLUB PRIZE FOR MEDIA CRITICISM
Thirty years ago, the Kerner Commission Report made national headlines by exposing the consistently biased coverage afforded African Americans in the mainstream media. While the report acted as a much ballyhooed wake-up call, the problems it identified have stubbornly persisted, despite the infusion of black and other racial minority journalists into the newsroom.
In Within the Veil, Pamela Newkirk unmasks the ways in which race continues to influence reportage, both overtly and covertly. Newkirk charts a series of race-related conflicts at news organizations across the country, illustrating how African American journalists have influenced and been denied influence to the content, presentation, and very nature of news.
Through anecdotes culled from interviews with over 100 broadcast and print journalists, Newkirk exposes the trials and triumphs of African American journalists as they struggle in pursuit of more equitable coverage of racial minorities. She illuminates the agonizing dilemmas they face when writing stories critical of blacks, stories which force them to choose between journalistic integrity, their own advancement, and the almost certain enmity of the black community.
Within the Veil is a gripping front-line report on the continuing battle to integrate America's newsrooms and news coverage.
Praise for Within the Veil:
"Pamela Newkirk is uniquely equipped to undertake a searching examination of the American institution that distorts perceptions of some of us for consumption by the rest of us. In Within the Veil, Newkirk renders compelling evidence that American news media have exacerbated more than ameliorated America's complex racial dilemma." —Randall Robinson, author of The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks
"In telling the stories of forgotten pioneers like Lester Walton, George Schuyler, Earl Brown, Ted Poston, and Ben Holman, and in detailing the pressures felt and obstacles overcome by more recent generations of African-American journalists, Pamela Newkirk's Within the Veil makes a valuable contribution to the history of the American press." —Ben Yagoda, associate professor of journalism, University of Delaware, author of About Town: The New Yorker and the World It Made, and coeditor of The Art of Fact: A Historical Anthology of American Journalism
"In many ways, today's news business suffers from a terrible case of isolationism, not just racial but socioeconomic. If every news editor in America read Within the Veil, it could transform dynamics within the newsroom and what appears on the screen and printed page. And for everyone else — the informed citizens of America who wonder how the media works — this book, with its gripping behind-the-scenes newsroom dramas, is a damn good read." —Farai Chideya, author of The Color of Our Future and Don't Believe the Hype, and editor of PopandPolitics.com
"A compelling look at the power of the media from an award-winning journalist who fearlessly and passionately addresses critical issues confronting African-American journalists working for mainstream newspapers and magazines." —Essence
"In her eloquent take on media Eurocentrism, Pamela Newkirk observes that anti-African exclusion very much characterizes the major media. . . . An hermeneutical tour-de-force." —New York Amsterdam News