Big Media Don’t Reflect the Diversity of Chicago

Last month, the Media Management Center at Northwestern University published an in-depth study of Chicago’s local TV news experience. While designed to help station managers build their audience, the report offers some important insight on how well the big five TV stations are serving the public.

Click here to learn more about the study

With the Sept. 20 FCC media ownership hearing swiftly approaching, the findings in this report are an important reminder of the ways Big Media leave local communities underserved and under-represented.

A few of the findings include:

  • Less than half of every local news program is devoted to news stories. Sports and weather each take up 9-10 percent of the newscast, and commercials take up almost 30 percent of the time.
  • More than one-third of all news stories are about crimes, fires and accidents, while political coverage accounts for 15 percent.
  • Although stories are geographically local, most news coverage has no direct effect on the lives of people in the viewing area.
  • For every non-white person who is heard in a story, there are three white people.
  • Women are outnumbered 2-to-1 in the news.
  • People who are white, male and “official” dominate political coverage.

This is just a small sampling of the findings from this report. To read more about how Big Media in Chicago have pushed local communities out of the picture, visit

The FCC is currently reviewing its media ownership laws, and the FCC hearing in Chicago is a unique opportunity for the public to have input into the policymaking process.

For more information on the hearing, visit

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s