I think the same thoughts. I would like to think it’s not a sinister plot for $$, but there’s little doubt that stories with racism and criminal justice controversy get vastly more views. One can tell by their desire to put “comments” on so many articles — and often those comment threads go on infinitely with liberals and conservatives hashing it out.
I genuinely think, based on my own education in early 1990s journalism and sociology departments where critiques of racial bias and ethics were prevalent, led to a great deal of pushback on highlighting criminality in black populations. This is why context in stories about police shootings, “mass incarceration,” and criminal justice in general is sadly missing. For example, it takes little work to merely divide arrest totals by use of for totals — or show both those percentages side-by-side — but it never happens. I find it frustrating. Basically, I think the mindset of people in journalism and editorial are social-justice oriented, and the bar for being called “racist” in coverage has lowered.
The media is cowed, basically.