Whose Lives Matter in the News?

J. Nathan Matias

Since the killing of Michael Brown, the Black Lives Matter movement has organized on social media to draw attention to the deaths of unarmed black people killed by US police. Have news organizations responded to this demand, and have we seen a significant change over time in reporting about those deaths?

In this analysis of deaths from January 2013 through June 2016, we show that an unarmed black person killed by US police received 10.5x the incidence rate of news articles after Michael Brown’s death than those killed before, but that the predicted number of articles is no longer significantly different from 2013 levels.

Research Topics
#civic media