Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Discussion with Editor in Chief Susan Goldberg. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

National Geographic’s Editor in Chief, Susan Goldberg, revealed on Monday that for decades the magazine has covered the world through a racist lens, such as portraying native brown-skinned tribesmen and bare-breasted women as "savages” and virtually ignoring people of color in the U.S. who were not laborers or domestic workers until the 1970s.

I’m the tenth editor of National Geographic since its founding in 1888. I’m the first woman and the first Jewish person — a member of two groups that also once faced discrimination here. It hurts to share the appalling stories from the magazine’s past. But when we decided to devote our April magazine to the topic of race, we thought we should examine our own history before turning our reportorial gaze to others.
— Goldberg wrote in an editor's letter

How we got here: Goldberg tasked John Edwin Mason, a preeminent historian at the University of Virginia to look into the magazine's coverage of people of color in the U.S. and abroad.

What Mason found:

  • Until the 1970s, the publication virtually ignored people of color in the country who were not laborers or domestic workers.
  • The publication routinely portrayed “natives” in other countries as “exotics, famously and frequently unclothed, happy hunters, noble savages_every type of cliché.”
  • In a 1916 article about Australia, the caption under the accompanying photographs of two Aboriginal people reads: “South Australian Blackfellows: These savages rank lowest in intelligence of all human beings.”
  • A story in 1962 about the killing of 69 black South Africans by police in Sharpeville had "no voices of black South Africans," Mason said. "That absence is as important as what is in there. The only black people are doing exotic dances… servants or workers. It’s bizarre, actually, to consider what the editors, writers, and photographers had to consciously not see.”

The backdrop: NatGeo's "Race Issue" comes as other media outlets are reckoning with its past coverage. The New York Times admitted last week that most of the thousands of obituaries it published since 1851 chronicled the lives of white men. The paper has since published obituaries of notable women in its “Overlooked” section.

Go deeper

Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus may have been in U.S. in December 2019, study finds — Hospital crisis deepens as holiday season nears.
  2. Politics: Bipartisan group of senators unveil $908 billion COVID stimulus proposalFDA chief was called to West Wing to explain why agency hasn't moved faster on vaccine — The words that actually persuade people on the pandemic
  3. Vaccine: Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorizationVaccinating rural America won't be easy — Being last in the vaccine queue is young people's next big COVID test.
  4. States: Cuomo orders emergency hospital protocols as New York's COVID capacity dwindles.
  5. World: European regulators to assess first COVID-19 vaccine by Dec. 29
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The state of play of the top vaccines.

Bipartisan group of senators unveils $908 billion COVID stimulus proposal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in the Capitol in 2018. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

A bipartisan group of senators on Tuesday proposed a $908 billion coronavirus stimulus package, in one of the few concrete steps toward COVID relief made by Congress in several months.

Why it matters: Recent data shows that the economic recovery is floundering as coronavirus cases surge and hospitals threaten to be overwhelmed heading into what is likely to be a grim winter.

Inside Patch's new local newsletter platform

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Patch, the hyperlocal (and profitable) local digital news company, has built a new software platform called "Patch Labs" that lets local news reporters publish their own newsletters and websites, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: It follows a growing trend of journalists going solo via newsletters at the national level.