Ep. 50: Policing, media narratives, and the AJC

This week, Aja and Sylvia get in the weeds about local media coverage’s role in how the general public views policing, specifically considering coverage from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution—the city’s largest local news source owned by Cox Enterprises, whose CEO & President Alex Taylor is serving as chairman of the new police training facility known as “Cop City”.

In this episode, Aja delivers a rundown and explainer of status quo journalism, the construct of objectivity, and other industry norms that are harmful to Black and brown communities. Sylvia adds her extensive knowledge of research and data specifically pertaining to the Atlanta police department and police violence in the city. Together, this helps us better grapple with understanding why vast swaths of Atlantans are still unaware of the city’s plans to develop the facility, why public perception of police is skewed away from reality, and how media systems are built to uphold our nation’s existing power structures rather than challenge and dismantle them.

This episode was recorded on both the unceded ancestral lands of the Muscogee Creek Tribe on so-called Atlanta, Ga., and those of the Duwamish Tribe on so-called Seattle, Wash.

“Atlanta police shootings, 2018-present: a database” (last updated on Aug. 11, 2021) by Sylvia Johnson: https://www.mainlinezine.com/atlanta-police-shootings-2018-present-a-database/

“Atlanta City Council passes ground lease for training facility, public dissent continues” by Aja Arnold: https://www.mainlinezine.com/atlanta-city-council-passes-police-training-facility-legislation/

“Atlanta protesters arrested while City Council passes lease agreement with police foundation” by Aja Arnold: https://www.mainlinezine.com/atlanta-protesters-arrested-council-passes-lease-police-foundation/

“The Atlanta police murder of Sam Parker” by Nolan Huber-Rhoades: https://www.mainlinezine.com/ep-44-the-atlanta-police-murder-of-sam-parker/

“The Cop Who Quit Instead of Helping to Gentrify Atlanta,” Mother Jones: https://www.motherjones.com/crime-justice/2020/09/the-cop-who-quit-instead-of-helping-to-gentrify-atlanta/

The View from Somewhere podcast created by Lewis Raven Wallace: https://www.lewispants.com/

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