Racism in the media: How George Floyd's death sparked a reckoning


IN THE PAPERS - Tuesday, June 9: The press reacts to demands for changes to the police system and in particular, the controversial call to defund the police. Here in France, the government has announced changes to policing, but some papers argue it doesn't go far enough. Finally, George Floyd's death has also sparked a reckoning in the media world - with the editors of foodie magazine Bon Appétit and women's website Refinery29 resigning.


George Floyd is being laid to rest in Houston. Over two short weeks, his killing has propelled protests against racism and police brutality across the world. As the Daily Telegraph notes, thousands of people turned out in Houston and his birth town of Raeford, North Carolina to pay their respects. Floyd's death is the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back and his name is "a rallying cry for one of the biggest civil uprisings in American history". 

His death has also led to demands for police reforms and even calls to defund the police like in Los Angeles, something the Wall Street Journal condemns. The paper's editors argue that crime in major American cities like New York and Minneapolis was already rising before Floyd's death. Defunding the police risks "a return to the high crime era of the 60s and 70s", they claim. 

Here in France, the government has announced a series of changes to the police system after nationwide protests against police brutality. Among them: the police chokehold will no longer be taught in police schools and officers will face suspension for any suspicion of racism. But it's not good enough for Libération. The French left-leaning paper calls the measures limited and says they don't address the issue of racial profiling. 

Finally, Floyd's death has also triggered a reckoning in the world of journalism. In the space of just a few days, the editors of foodie magazine Bon Appétit and women's website Refinery29 have resigned over accusations of racism. In the case of Bon Appétit, the magazine was accused of only paying white editors for video appearances. You can read about that in The New York Times.

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