When the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Oct. 12 on Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, affirmative action was thrust back into the news.
Abigail Fisher, a white applicant to the university, alleges that the institution’s affirmative action program caused her to be denied admission. The outcome of the case will determine the extent that college and universities are allowed to use race as a factor in admissions policies.
A major concern for civil rights and social justice advocates who support affirmative action is how media cover the issue. Frequently, experts say, the coverage is simplistic and fails to put affirmative action in the proper context. They say news outlets can improve reporting by clarifying affirmative action, how it functions and who benefits from it.