An Analysis of Anti-Black Crime Reporting in Toronto: Evidence from News Frames and Critical Race Theory

  • Wesley Crichlow
  • Sharon Lauricella
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Crime, Media and Culture book series (PSCMC)


Modern media representations of Blacks as violent and criminal (Crichlow 2009, 2014) have contributed to the construction of Blacks, and particularly Black males, as ensconced in a life of crime, poverty, and violence. The issue of media depiction of Black males is particularly important in the present age—coined “post-racial”—after Barack Obama’s presidential victory in 2008. Politics constitutes a variant of the post-racial era in Canada, where political parties have sought out racial minority candidates in predominantly Black, ethnic, and racialised communities. This was most evident in the appointment of Canada’s first Black Governor, General Michaelle Jean, in 2005. In general, however, media reports about Toronto’s Black communities address violence, gangs, and crime, and are anecdotally recognised as reporting Blacks as academic underachievers, recipients of child welfare, overrepresented in youth correctional facilities, and living in abject poverty (Crichlow 2014). Entman and Rojecki (2000) suggest that print media and television visually construct poverty as nearly synonymous with Blacks and that surveys show that whites typically accept this view. In this sense, news—whether print or visual—encourages the acceptance of the prototypical Black as poor and the prototypical poor person as Black (Entman and Rojecki 2000, p. 102). These anti-black working class racist stereotypes besmirch the image of Black men who are either not poor or are from middle and upper class groups (Collins 2004; Poindexter et al. 2003).


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wesley Crichlow
    • 1
  • Sharon Lauricella
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Ontario Institute of TechnologyOshawaCanada

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