The Northeastern University College of Arts, Media and Design Center for Communication, Media Innovation & Social Change will host a panel as part of their Critical Conversations series entitled “Confronting Media Coverage of the US Territories” on Thursday, November 17, 2022, at 10:00 am EST. The event will be held on Zoom and include panelists from outlets focused on the territories (including this writer).
The United States territories are routinely left out of the national conversation in the mainstream media. Even when territories are mentioned, their unique status as unincorporated territories and American citizens are often misrepresented. For example, when Sonia Sotomayor was nominated as a Supreme Court justice, national television branded her as “the daughter of Puerto Rico immigrants” who moved to New York, despite her parents being American citizens.
The consequences of the lack of knowledge and education reveal the disparity in treatment between the states and territories. This has proven dire, especially in times of national disasters such as Hurricane Maria and Typhoon Yutu. An article in the Washington Post titled, “The Mainstream media didn’t care about Puerto Rico until it became a Trump story,” highlights some of these issues. Understanding and contextualizing the territories and their peoples is paramount in a time of heightened awareness of racial justice issues in the United States.
This online conversation will bring journalists from across the five U.S. territories together to discuss:
- What does the news media routinely get wrong about reporting and covering the U.S. territories? What exactly gets left out in the narrative?
- How is this symptomatic of how the federal government treats its territories?
- How can national news reporters covering the territories address their shortcomings when covering these territories?
Panelists will include:
- Rachel Ramirez, Climate writer/reporter at CNN
- William-Jose Velez Gonzalez, Editor in Chief at Pasquines
- Amaziah George, Product Manager at State of the Territory News
- Phill Leon Guerrero, Executive Editor at The Guam Daily Post
The event will be moderated by media advocacy student Yuuki Nishida and by Dr. Meredith Clark, Director of the Center for Communication, Media Innovation & Social Change. Registration is required and open to the public.
The Center for Communication, Media Innovation & Social Change is a hub for the advanced study of race, ethnicity, and activism, with an emphasis on media impact and the empowerment of marginalized communities. Critical Conversations is a series designed to take students’ research and professional work beyond the classroom.