About Us

The Media Portrayals of Minorities Project was launched in 2012 at Middlebury College. We use digital sources to better understand depictions of minorities in the media. Our goal is to track and explain how and why media representations of groups shift over time, vary across place, or compare to one another. We use a mix of computer-assisted and human coding techniques that allow us to analyze large quantities of media data. Our approach provides a new way of understanding how the media establish, reproduce, and influence the portrayals of minority groups in media.

Who we are

Erik Bleich

Erik Bleich is the director of the Media Portrayals of Minorities Project. He is Charles A. Dana Professor of political science at Middlebury College. Bleich publishes widely on race and ethnicity in liberal democracies, and is the co-editor of Migrants, Minorities and the Media: Information, Representations and Participation in the Public Sphere. His work has also appeared in The Atlantic, Al Jazeera English, Asahi Shimbun, The Conversation, Financial Times, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Prospect Magazine, and The Washington Post. He has been an invited guest on NPR’s Here and Now, WNYC’s Brian Lehrer show, France 24, Danish Public Radio, CBC Radio’s Day 6, and BBC World Service’s The Inquiry.

A. Maurits van der Veen

A. Maurits van der Veen is a faculty affiliate of the Media Portrayals of Minorities Project. He is Associate Professor of Government at William & Mary, where he directs the STAIR lab. He develops text analysis procedures that we use in Media Portrayals of Minorities Project research and is a co-author on numerous research projects.

Emma Brown

Emma Brown, Middlebury College ’21, is a Geography major and a Japanese Studies minor from Bozeman, Montana. She joined the Media Portrayals of Minority Project after taking the winter term lab course in 2020, during which she researched the portrayal of Israelis and Palestinians during the second intifada in UK and US newspapers.

Isabel Chandler

Isabel Chandler, Middlebury College ’21.5, is a double major in International Politics and Economics and Russian Studies from Denver, Colorado. She joined the Media Portrayals of Minorities Project in 2021, after taking the winter term lab course during which she researched the portrayal of Black Americans over the past twenty-one years.

Abigail Chang

Abigail Chang, Middlebury College ’23, is an English major and intended Linguistics minor from Connecticut. She joined the lab in 2021 after taking the winter term methods course, during which she studied media portrayals of far-right and far-left groups.

Lukas Kauth

Lukas Kauth, Middlebury College ’21, is an English and Political Science major from Boston, Massachusetts. He joined the lab in the Spring of 2020 after taking the Media and Minorities winter term course. During the course, Lukas worked on a study of media portrayals of the LGBTQ community over the past two decades.

Kai Milici

Kai Milici, Middlebury College ’21, is a joint Geography and Political Science major from Seattle, Washington. She joined the Media Portrayals of Minorities Project in 2020, after taking the winter term lab course during which she researched the portrayal of Israelis and Palestinians during the second intifada, by both UK and US newspapers.

Nicolas Pantelick

Nicolas Pantelick, Middlebury College ’24, is a prospective International & Global Studies major with a Middle East and Arabic language concentration from San Francisco, California. He joined the Media Portrayals of Minorities Project in Spring 2021 after taking the lab’s winter term course, during which he researched US media coverage of protest movements throughout the Trump Presidency.

Emily Wander

Emily Wander, Middlebury College ’21, is a Mathematics and Sociology double major from New York. She joined the lab in 2020 after taking the Media and Minorities Winter Term course with Professor Bleich, during which she worked on a study of racially coded neighborhoods in major American cities.