How references to racism, white supremacy and more exploded in media

The Great Awokening: Liberal media stoked ‘moral panic’ with references to racism and white supremacy SKYROCKETING in 2011 when the New York Times erected its paywall and rewarded their paying white liberal readers’ enthusiasm for wokeness

  • Terms related to ethnicity, gender, sexual, and religious orientation rose in frequency across dozens of US news publications throughout the past decade
  • In a guest post on Common Sense with Bari Weiss, Batya Ungar-Sargon, explained that liberals are willing to pay for content that aligns with their beliefs and it resulted in divisive language becoming more common 
  • Ungar-Sargon cited a study, ‘Prevalence of Prejudice-Denoting Words in News Media Discourse: A Chronological Analysis’ which analyzed 27million articles published between 1970 and 2019
  • Divisive terms began trending at The New York Times after the left-leaning outlet implemented its paywall system in 2011
  • ‘The political and financial incentives of media organizations and journalists seem to play an important role in driving the ‘agenda’ set by the media,’ the study said
  • Across 47 of the nation’s most popular news outlets, the frequency of the term ‘white supremacy’ grew by 2,862, the study showed
  • Former President Donald Trump has been widely blamed for stoking division in the run to his bid for president and during his time in the White House
  • But this research shows that language ‘denoting racism, [and] homophobia’ reached new highs in 2014 – long before Trump entered the political arena  

Liberal mainstream media outlets have stoked ‘moral panic’ with references to racism, white supremacy and homophobia skyrocketing after 2011 when the New York Times implemented a paywall and rewarded its white liberal readers’ enthusiasm for wokeness, a political commentator says. 

In a guest post on Common Sense with Bari Weiss, Batya Ungar-Sargon – an opinion editor at Newsweek – explained that liberals are willing to pay for content that aligns with their beliefs and it resulted in divisive language becoming more common.

After the New York Times implemented its paywall – five years before Donald Trump was elected president in 2016 – it gave readers what they wanted, with the number of times the term ‘racist’ was used between 2010 and 2019 growing 600 per cent. 

The growth in divisive language was uncovered in an academic study led by New Zealand computer scientist David Rozado. 

In ‘Prevalence of Prejudice-Denoting Words in News Media Discourse: A Chronological Analysis’, it also found that the frequency of the term ‘white supremacy’ grew by 2,862 from 2010 to 2019 in overall media coverage.

The study said that ‘agenda setting’ among media outlets can happen when ‘certain core outlets drive the conversation for most other media,’ dictating the topics that yield the most attention.

Former President Donald Trump has been widely blamed for stoking division in the run to his bid for president and during his time in the White House, but this research shows that language ‘denoting racism, [and] homophobia’ reached new highs in 2014 – long before Trump entered the political arena. 

It means Trump alone shouldn’t be blamed for the rise in the terminology, according to Ungar-Sargon.

A recently-published study called ‘Prevalence of Prejudice-Denoting Words in News Media Discourse: A Chronological Analysis’ found the term ‘white supremacy’ grew by 2,862 in 47 of the nation’s most popular news outlets

Terms such as ‘racist’, ‘sexist’ and ‘Islamophobic’ have skyrocketed in the past decade

‘The moral panic mainstreamed by the liberal news media had actually been underway for at least five years before Trump appeared on the scene,’ Ungar-Sargon wrote. 

‘It began around 2011, the year the New York Times erected its online paywall. It was then that articles mentioning ‘racism,’ ‘people of color,’ ‘slavery,’ or ‘oppression’ started to appear with exponential frequency at the Times, BuzzFeed, Vox, the Washington Post, and NPR.’

A New York Times spokesperson noted that the study does not include ‘critical information about the context in which the terms are being used.’

‘The New York Times reports on the most important stories of our era with rigor, fairness and accuracy,’ Jordan Cohen told DailyMail.com. ‘That includes a broad array of daily coverage that helps our readers understand this moment.’

Usage of the term ‘racist’ grew 638percent at The New York Times between 2010 and 2019 while the phrase ‘white supremacy’ ratcheted 4,196 percent at the outlet

Mainstream media outlets play a key agenda-setting role when it comes to public opinion, the ‘Prevalence of Prejudice-Denoting Words in News Media Discourse: A Chronological Analysis’ study said, citing previous research. 

‘The ‘agenda-setting’ literature also finds that certain core outlets seem to drive the conversation for most other media, as writers across the political spectrum react to or strive to emulate coverage in prestige media outlets,’ the study said. 

‘Coverage trends in prestige outlets therefore tend to echo throughout the media landscape, irrespective of other outlets’ ideological lean—and coverage trends in print, online, and television media tend to overlap considerably. The political and financial incentives of media organizations and journalists seem to play an important role in driving the ‘agenda’ set by the media.’

Similar trends were observed at The Wall Street Journal, where ‘Islamophobic’ was used at 680 percent greater frequency, and ‘white supremacy’ usage grew by 5,931percent

The study found spikes in the publications’ reported related to a spectrum of prejudicial language 

Ungar-Satya added in her column that she believed liberal news outlets played a key role in changing the media narrative.

‘For a long time, the notion that America is an unrepentant white-supremacist state – one that confers power and privilege to white people and systematically denies them to people of color – was the province of far-left activists and academics,’ she wrote. 

‘But over the past decade, it’s found its way into the mainstream, largely through liberal media outlets like the New York Times, NPR, MSNBC, the Washington Post, Vox, CNN, the New Republic, and the Atlantic.’

Published in July, the study by New Zealand computer scientist David Rozado, reached its findings after analyzing 27 million news and opinion articles published between 1970 and 2019 in 47 of the nation’s most popular news media outlets.

Research found that the usage of certain words related to race, gender, and sexual and religious orientation skyrocketed between 2010 and 2019 across most new outlets, regardless of political leaning.

Usage of the term ‘racist’ grew 638 per cent at the Times during the nine-year timeframe, while the phrase ‘white supremacy’ ratcheted 4,196 per cent at the outlet.

The research shows that language ‘denoting racism, homophobia’ reached new highs in 2014 – a year before Trump announced his candidacy for office

The frequency of ‘gender discrimination’ rose 932 per cent throughout the years at the Times, and ‘misogyny’ grew by 951 per cent.

Similar trends were observed at The Wall Street Journal, where ‘Islamophobic’ was used at 680 per cent greater frequency, and ‘white supremacy’ usage grew by 5,931 per cent.

The Journal implemented its paywall in 2013. 

A study co-author said the research has shown that the way media frames issues such as crime and terrorism can affect public perception. The authors tested the theory to see whether shifts in media discourse and prejudice and discrimination followed similar patterns

A study author said the spike in words related to race and gender seemed to affect the public’s perception on the topics

Musa al-Gharbi, a study co-author, said research has shown that the way media frames issues such as crime and terrorism can affect public perception.

He and his colleagues tested the theory to see whether shifts in media discourse and prejudice and discrimination followed similar patterns.

‘This does seem to be the case – particularly with regards to perceptions around race and gender,’ al-Gharbi told MailOnline.com.  

Agenda-setting tends to drive the conversation for most other media, research found

‘Shifts in discourse tend to predict shifts in perceptions about the prevalence and severity of prejudice and discrimination in the U.S.,’ he added.

‘These shifts do not seem to be driven by Trump (they predate his candidacy), nor do they seem to be driven by anything in particular that was happening with respect to race, gender, sexuality, etc. at that time. Instead, factor analysis suggests that some single, deeper, underlying shift could explain the vast majority of the patterns we observed.’

Results of the research could also reflect the fact that societies have become more intolerant, the study said.

‘Whereas in previous decades, overtly prejudicial societies would avoid denouncing prejudice or be constitutionally incapable of recognizing prejudice as such, contemporary news media may be more adept at identifying and denouncing prejudice against protected groups,’ it said. 

‘Growing sensitivity to mistreatment of protected groups and assertiveness of egalitarian attitudes could predict increased prevalence of prejudice-denoting words in news media.’ 

The Washington Post did not respond to DailyMail.com for a request for comment.

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