Pew finds racial gap among those following Trayvon Martin story

Journal-isms | Pew | Washington Post

The Pew Research Center
found that a quarter of all Americans followed the story of Trayvon Martin's killing last week. As Richard Prince noted, Pew found that African American respondents were "more than twice as likely as whites to say that this was their top story (52% vs. 20%)."

A separate measure shows that 35 percent of people say they have been following the controversy very closely. Of that 35 percent, 70 percent are African-American. (Another interesting nugget from Pew's post: More than half the respondents had not heard of last week's "Etch-a-Sketch" story, about which oodles was written.)

Yesterday, Erik Wemple examined another race-related angle of the Martin story: Why The New York Times described George Zimmerman as "white Hispanic." Phil Corbett, the Times' associate managing editor for standards, told Wemple: "Eventually we decided that simply calling him Hispanic was probably clear enough, especially since by now most readers are familiar with him and the case. So that’s what we’ve mostly been doing.” Zimmerman's ethnicity, which is not easily categorized, has caused a headache at Wemple's employer, too.

For anyone trying to keep up with this story, I recommend this rolling Mother Jones explainer.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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