In this Report, we analyze 2019 coverage of six significant American racial, ethnic, or religious groups: African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, Jews, and Muslims. Latinos and African Americans are the largest of these groups, constituting approximately 18% and 13% of the US population, respectively. Asian Americans are the next most numerous, at roughly 6%. Native Americans, Jews, and Muslims make up approximately 1-2% of the American population.
We address key questions about media coverage of these groups: Are some mentioned more frequently in US newspapers than others? How positive or negative is coverage of these groups, and why? How does 2019 compare to earlier years in terms of the amount and tone of coverage? What themes are present in the reporting of all six groups, and which were distinctive to each in 2019?
In brief, our analyses show that coverage of Muslims stands out as being both the most frequent and the most negative by a wide margin. This is principally due to reporting on foreign conflict zones. Articles mentioning Asian Americans are distinctive for their relative rarity and for their association with more positivity than any other group, although by a small margin. Across our six groups, politics, education, and law and order tend to be the most prevalent themes of coverage; culture is associated with the most positivity; and law and order is most closely linked to negativity.