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.

Mira Chugh

Mira Chugh, Middlebury College ’20, is a Computer Science major from Connecticut. She joined the Media Portrayals of Minorities Project in 2018, after taking the Winter term lab course. Mira worked on a project in the Media and Minorities lab named “Newspaper Coverage of Victims of Sexual Assault and Misconduct.”

Will Digravio

Will DiGravio, Middlebury College ’19, is a Film & Media Culture and English & American Literatures joint major, and a Political Science minor from Massachusetts. He joined the lab in the Winter of 2018 where, in addition to the Muslims book project, he has researched the U.S. print media’s coverage of survivors of sexual assault and misconduct. He was elected the editor in chief of The Middlebury Campus, the college’s student newspaper, for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Rand Jibril

Rand Jibril, Middlebury College ’20, is an International Politics and Economics major and a Global Health Minor from Ramallah, Palestine. She joined the Media Portrayals of Minorities Project in 2018, after taking the Media and Minorities lab Winter term course with Professor Bleich. Rand worked on a research study entitled “U.S. and U.K. Media Portrayal of Refugees and Asylum Seekers” with fellow group member Emily Stabler.

Julien Souffrant

Julien Souffrant, Middlebury College ’19, is an International Politics and Economics major with a concentration in French from Charlotte, North Carolina. He joined the Media Portrayals of Minorities Project in spring of 2018, after a semester abroad in Paris, France. He has worked on the Muslims in the media book project.

Emily Stabler

Emily Stabler, Middlebury College ’19, is a Political Science major and Spanish minor from San Francisco, California. She joined the Media Portrayals of Minorities Project group in 2018, after taking the Media and Minorities Winter term course with Professor Bleich. Emily worked on a research study entitled “U.S. and U.K. Media Portrayal of Refugees and Asylum Seekers” with fellow group member Rand Jibril.