Press secretaries for black members of Congress are far more unhappy with media coverage than their counterparts working for white lawmakers. According to a study in the Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics by Jeremy Zilber and David Niven, nearly three-quarters complained about media stereotyping.
''You're looked at to give the black take on things,'' said one spokesman.
''Never can a story be written that they don't mention he is the first black to ... ,'' said another.
''It's a conservative, white media elite, and all they can see when they look at this office is black, black, black,'' a third said.
In the survey of 52 press secretaries, 93 percent of those working for white members said the media generally treated their bosses fairly, compared with 17 percent of those working for black lawmakers. The biggest complaint was a lack of press coverage by the hometown paper, with one respondent saying that the local press didn't take the boss seriously.
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