Whites are half as likely as blacks to follow Ferguson news closely


54 percent of blacks are following news from Ferguson very closely, Pew reports. Only 25 percent of whites say the same thing.

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Age played a role in how people Pew surveyed viewed the Ferguson story: People above 50 were far likelier to say they were following the news closely. But the race of respondents had a stronger correlation with how they viewed the story:

Blacks are about twice as likely as whites to say that the shooting of Michael Brown “raises important issues about race that need to be discussed.” Wide racial differences also are evident in opinions about of whether local police went too far in the aftermath of Brown’s death, and in confidence in the investigations into the shooting.

27 percent of all respondents said they were following Ferguson news closely. The same percentage said they were following the story of Robin Williams' death.

It's interesting to compare these findings to Pew's findings after Trayvon Martin's death: In April 2012, 30 percent of all people surveyed said they were following that story very closely. Then as now, blacks were more than twice as likely as whites to follow the story closely.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com 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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