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1. The Biggest Story Every Month Is The Latest Album
Rappers are always pushing out the latest album. This is how they keep fans on their toes and ensure that they remain at the top of the game.
Lil Durk finally released his long-awaited new album Almost Healed. He built up anticipation over the past few months by providing updates and teases on social media. The album is off to a strong start, with the first single reaching number four on the Billboard Hot 100.
Hip hop is one of the most popular and influential music genres in modern times. It originated in the 1970s when DJs began mixing rhythm and blues records with other styles to create a new sound.
2. The Journalists Are More Fans Than Journalists
As a consequence of the proliferation of social media platforms, many individual journalists have built profiles that allow them to monetise content and create loyal audiences, often without having to stay at a single news outlet. This has given rise to a new genre of journalist, one who is not just an objective reporter but also a celebrity, creator, and influencer, with a dedicated following of their own.
Some have argued that this shift in journalistic power has been a bad thing. They contend that journalists should resist the temptation to shape their coverage to please activists and interest groups, even those engaged in admirable work. They should not turn their role as watchdogs into lapdogs.
Others have pointed to the fact that supposedly objective journalists are anchored to a particular point of view – typically, a straight white male perspective – and that this is reflected in the coverage they produce. They argue that notions of objectivity are a myth designed to insulate existing power structures from scrutiny and change.
While there has been progress in the diversity of newsrooms, we continue to see a majority of named journalists who are men – as high as 71% in Brazil and 70% in the US. In addition, very few of the journalists named are people of color, reflecting a continuing lack of visibility in top editorial positions (Eddy et al. 2022a). This “politicisation of journalism” may have negative consequences for trust in the news. It may also play a role in the increasing popularity of politically motivated alternative vloggers and podcasters, who have been able to build audiences around their political agendas and opinions.
3. The Journalists Are Compromised
Journalists are not just vulnerable to physical threats from individuals who want to silence them. They are also a target of hackers, surveillance and other digital attacks designed to derail their work or their personal lives. The threat of such attacks creates a significant stress that can lead to decreased productivity and even burnout in some cases.
In the face of such threats, journalists can take steps to reclaim their autonomy and protect themselves and their work. These measures should include securing online accounts and regularly backing up and deleting data to reduce the risk of compromising information. They should also practice “digital hygiene,” which includes searching their own name and other data on all search engines in private or incognito mode to find where it appears online.
They should be mindful of the ways their work can affect audiences and their responsibilities to society and should not exploit their audience for financial gain or to advance their own agendas. They should understand that the use of a journalistic article does not constitute copyright infringement when it is used for news and informational purposes, as defined in fair use laws and guidelines.
Journalism relies on two types of safety: (1) financial, which ensures the continued operation of the institution and (2) occupational, encompassing the health of journalists and their ability to perform their role without threat. These safety dimensions are moderated by various power-related factors, including individual (micro), organizational/institutional, and systemic (macro) threats. These threats can erode journalists’ occupational performance and may even push them to leave the profession, which ultimately undermines its wider function as an institution.
5. The Journalists Are Compromised By The Government
Many countries once considered bastions of a free press are seeing deterioration in their journalism that isn’t being caused by journalists being thrown in jail or physically assaulted. Instead, the world has seen a new toolbox that illiberal leaders in fragile democracies use to co-opt media. This toolbox largely leaves out blunt-force legal repression that would be condemned by neighboring democracies and global monitors, but does include ways to harness structural conditions that can undermine the independence of media outlets.
One of the most common strategies is leveraging economic pressure to choke out critical media. Whether through government-directed advertising, lucrative state contracts or even the buying and selling of media outlets to create progovernment groups, this strategy can help to deprive the public of the journalism that is most important to them.
Similarly, governments can also leverage the threat of harassment to discourage investigative journalism and stifle political opposition. Harassment comes in a variety of forms, from intimidation to direct attacks. And it is often compounded by digital surveillance and the misuse of digital tools to track journalists’ work and whereabouts.
It is critical for policymakers and high-level officials from democratic countries to stay on the lookout for illiberal tactics and speak out against laws, practices, and rhetoric that threaten media freedom. False claims that the media is biased or that the work it does is a threat to national security can be particularly damaging and should be publicly refuted. A robust international response that supports journalism in all its forms is vital to ensure that the public has access to information about their governments and leaders. That will ultimately strengthen democracy and human rights in the long run.