An analysis of news coverage during the 2020 Texas primary finds journalists overwhelmingly relied on white, male sources for their stories.
The report by Progress Texas Institute found that in news coverage of the U.S. Senate primary in Texas, more than 71 percent of political sources were white and more than 71 percent were male.
To arrive at the findings, Progress Texas created a dataset of 416 news articles relevant to the U.S. Senate primary race in Texas between Nov. 9, 2019, to March 8, 2020. Among those news articles, 107 unique political sources were quoted. Of those 107 quoted political sources, only six Black sources were interviewed.
“Particularly, it is alarming that we only found one Texas media outlet that interviewed a Black political source about the U.S. Senate race,” wrote Progress Texas. “This is even more surprising when one considers that two of the leading four candidates were black.”
Likewise, an Asian source was only interviewed 5 times. The report said Abhi Rahman, spokesman for the Texas Democratic Party, made up four of those instances.
The findings mirror the results of another 2015 study by Progress Texas that found seven political experts were almost exclusively interviewed by Texas media.
Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org