NPR Television Critic Decodes Media’s Coverage of Race


These days, it often seems conversations about race and social issues have gone off the rails.

Protests about the teaching of critical race theory – which are really disingenuous attempts to stop any talk about systemic prejudice or America’s long history of racism — have upended school board meetings and resulted in terrible legislation, likely crafted by people who have no idea what this college-level area of study really involves.

TV pundits like Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham barely bother to hide how their messages echo tenets of white supremacist ideology. The disproportionate deaths of people of color by COVID are overshadowed by misinformation from opportunists like Joe Rogan and Alex Jones. Brilliant storytellers of color like Ava DuVernay and Nikole Hannah-Jones craft projects which urge us to reconsider the myths America tells itself about race, history and culture, but face a shameful level of insult and bad faith criticism aimed at silencing their work.

Author, columnist, teacher and journalist Eric Deggans has covered the intersections of media, pop culture, race and social justice for more than 25 years. And he can cut through the media clutter with a range of presentations which speak simply and incisively on race in America.

His central presentation “Building Bridges, Not Walls: Decoding Media’s Confusing Coverage of Race, Inclusion, Culture and Politics,” offers loads of insights on the current moment — including explanations of white privilege and anti-racism; why “cancel culture” should really be called “consequence culture”; and the four types of racism which most often derail media outlets, along with inhibiting our own personal conversations on race and difference.

As TV critic for National Public Radio, Eric helps an audience of millions decode the confusing messages on race, inclusion and society filling today’s media platforms. He’s written a book on how media outlets leverage prejudice to build profits, called Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation. And he teaches a class at Duke University aimed at dissecting how systemic racism distorts media messages, reflecting America’s tortured history of progress and backlash on civil rights.


Eric has brought his insights on these issues to clients diverse as Harvard University, Progressive Insurance, BBDO advertising, the South by Southwest Conference and Festival, the National Scholastic Press Association, Interlochen Center for the Arts, The Chautauqua Institution, the Aspen Institute and many more universities, conventions and keynote events.

As the nation struggles to understand its ongoing, fitful conflicts over race and inclusion, voices who can push through the noise with clear analysis and explanations become more important.

Eric Deggans brings such direct, incisive insights with a dose of good humor and an easy style which makes discussing even the most challenging topics easier. He even teaches his audience how to do the same, encouraging respectful, productive conversation on the nation’s most incendiary subject.

For more information on booking Eric Deggans, contact Scott Wolfman


“Eric was quite amazing.”Rachele M. Hall, Ed.D., Associate Director, Department of Student Involvement – Westchester Community College

“…Eric was terrific. He is an engaging speaker with an excellent presentation…I do believe that Eric made an impact, not only with his presentation but also with his interactions with students. And I believe that seeds were planted for furthering healthy dialog on campus.” –  Kerry Raadt, Director of College Events –  Carleton College

“The luncheon was fantastic! He was impeccable and brought a view point onto this campus that I think many people will walk away with a changed mindset, or at least a more open one than they walked in with. I have heard wonderful things about Eric from multiple people.” – Blaise Guerriero, Student Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion – The University of Tampa

“Eric Deggans is one of the most insightful and provocative writers about television today.  In his columns for the St Petersburg Times and his NPR commentaries, Deggans has established himself as a voice worth listening to. His many fans — and I’m one of them — will devour this book.”    —Andy Borowitz

“If you care about this country, if you want to take part in a citizen’s movement that helps heal the deep racial, economic, and cultural divides tearing us apart, you must read Eric Deggans’ Race-Baiter. No book of recent vintage so thoroughly dissects the media’s monetized appetite for division. Provocative, honest, and smart, Race-Baiter is a supremely important book. Read it and let the conversation begin.”    –Connie May Fowler, Author of Before Women had Wings

“Eric Deggans proves that he is one of the most insightful and courageous writers covering today’s fast-shifting media landscape. This is an important book.”    
—Michele Norris, NPR’s All Things Considered and founder of The Race Card Project



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