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Letter to the Editor: Race in the Media

Dear Editor,

Have you ever paid attention to race in the media? More specifically, magazine covers? For my capstone project I studied 3 years’ worth of Sports Illustrated Magazine covers and took tallies on what I saw depicted. I came to the conclusion that this magazine doesn’t show diversity in the races they put on their covers. What I did to come to this conclusion was make tallies on different categories based off what the model’s race was, what they were or were not doing, if they were happy or not, playing their sport, etc. As I kept making tallies, I soon realized that all I was seeing was black and white athletes (predominantly football players).

The media studied has a negative impact on society because it leads people of races not depicted on the magazine covers to believe that they aren’t able to be good at sports. For example, if an asian individual has a passion for playing basketball, but never sees any asian basketball players on the cover of Sports Illustrated, that can lead them to think that they can’t be good at the sport because no one of their race appears on the covers. This can also cause other races to have stereotypes about other race’s athletic abilities. If Sports Illustrated had more diversity of race on their magazine covers it can help destroy this problem because readers would see that anyone is a able to be successful. For my action project, I am collecting signatures for my petition on change.org. The petition is named “More diversity of race in Sports Illustrated”. If you are angered by this, or feel as though everyone should be included, I strongly encourage you to sign. Society has its standards based off what they see in the media, so let's work to make diversity a regular thing in what we are exposed to in the media. For more information, visit my Facebook page, Race in the Media.


Anna Pierce