Black cultural projection: an analysis of major daily news coverage of successful black mayoral campaigns in major US Cities

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Stamps, David https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7435-853X

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Newspapers often play a significant role in providing knowledge about political matters and may shape public opinion about political figures. However, a focus on newspaper coverage of some of the first Black mayors of major US cities and themes related to racial identity and policy is under-examined. The current investigation adopts an ethnographic content analysis and examines 30 days of major daily newspaper coverage of Black mayoral campaigns in Los Angeles, Detroit, New Orleans, Newark, and Chicago before each mayoral election. Findings reveal that news coverage draws attention to overt racial narratives and emphasizes racial stereotypes. However, news coverage of the candidates' policy proposals was present and often nonracialized. The outcomes suggest that the inclusion of racial identity and policies, while not entirely favorable, may increase awareness of each candidate's policies, potentially contributing to their electability.