CHAMPAIGN, Ill., July 17 (UPI) -- Watching television news could contribute to stereotyping, a University of Illinois researcher said Thursday.
Communication professor Travis Dixon said he found the more people watched either local or network news, the more likely they were to draw on negative stereotypes about blacks, the Champaign, Ill., university said in a news release.
The effects of news-watching, whether local or national, were independent of viewers' existing racial attitudes, Dixon said.
"We've shown that just watching the news -- just news consumption alone -- has an impact on one's stereotypical conceptions," he said.
Dixon said his latest analysis built on previous studies in several large cities -- including Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. All of his studies indicated blacks were overrepresented as perpetrators, whites are overrepresented as victims, and black-on-white crime is overrepresented relative to crime within racial groups, he said.
Dixon said the overrepresentation was relative to police department crime statistics, not population.
"All of these things are inconsistent with what's really happening out there in the quote-unquote real world," Dixon said.
Dixon said he also also is working on studies about stereotyping in the news coverage of Hurricane Katrina and of terrorism.