The headline to this post sounds like a headline from The Onion, but its not.
National Geographic admits to exploiting their staffs own racism and misogyny to spin their stories to increase readership, the same concept as modern fake news click-bait operations:
People of colour were often scantily clothed, people of colour were usually not seen in cities, people of colour were not often surrounded by technologies of automobiles, airplanes or trains or factories,” he said. “People of colour were often pictured as living as if their ancestors might have lived several hundreds of years ago and that’s in contrast to westerners who are always fully clothed and often carrying technology.”
White teenage boys “could count on every issue or two of National Geographic having some brown skin bare breasts for them to look at, and I think editors at National Geographic knew that was one of the appeals of their magazine, because women, especially Asian women from the pacific islands, were photographed in ways that were almost glamour shots.”
I will not dig up the past details here but we stopped reading National Geographic about 18 years ago when I discovered they cherry picked data to show a trend in a graph. If they had merely included a decades worth of earlier data, one could see that the trend was reverting to the mean – and was not a trend at all. There were two additional serious and easily confirmed errors in their story, which I think had been a cover story too. The quality had gone down hill.
News publications lose credibility when they make choices like this, to emotionally hook and fool their readers. We have not read National Geographic nor watched a NatGeo program since then because they lost our trust.
Their admission to having spent a century publishing fake news is a deep hole for them to climb out of. They’ve blamed their failure on generic racism, when what they really mean, is their own editorial staff’s racism. National Geographic admits to having been a racist publication for nearly 100 years from 1888 up to the 1970s – and today they blame society rather than acknowledge that their organization is broken. The current editor, according to the linked news report, is the first female editor of the National Geographic.