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Black journalism in America


After reading news stories from a variety of Black and general audience media, students will be able to analyze differences in coverage, sources and perspectives in current news.



  • Students will be able to recognize media bias across multiple outlets.
  • Students will be able to discuss why a minority press is still necessary in America.
  • Students will be able to critique media outlets’ uses of quotes, photos, video clips and other content to portray people of color.


Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.


Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language of a court opinion differs from that of a newspaper).


Analyze in detail how an author’s ideas or claims are developed and refined by particular sentences, paragraphs, or larger portions of a text (e.g., a section or chapter).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.6 Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.




45 minutes


Materials / resources

List of Black newspapers


Lesson step-by-step

  1. The teacher will give students two news stories about the same event, one from a mainstream newspaper and one from a Black newspaper. See list of potential news outlets above. Suggestions:
    1. Localize this as much as possible. If your state has a Black newspaper, use it.
    2. Try to make the stories as timely as possible.
    3. To see more of a difference, choose a story in which a Black person is a main player in the event.
  2. The teacher will lead students through analyzing the two stories for use of minority sources, use of slanted language or implied bias, image content (if applicable) and tone.
    1. When leading class discussions regarding race, be sure not to “tokenize” students of color to get their perspectives unless they are clearly comfortable sharing.
    2. Students may not feel comfortable discussing these topics. Consider having them construct written reactions instead of verbal.
  3. Allow students time to browse the same websites you pulled the stories from. Tell them to read similar content on both websites. Then with a partner, have the students discuss the differences they see and why specifically Black news outlets still exist in the U.S.



As an extension, have students craft an opinion piece on the necessity of the Black press.

Students could research the history of one Black news outlet. Students could also examine their student-produced news for any implied racial bias.

To provide scaffolding for struggling students, the teacher could provide the two original stories with differences already annotated.