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Examine the ways in which the mass media represents ethnicity.

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Introduction

* Examine the ways in which the mass media represents ethnicity. Mass media involves large numbers of people working together in the process of communication. This involves television, newspapers and radio which all provide valuable and knowledgeable sources for their audiences. Ethnicity refers to a shared cultural identity within a community. This can be expressed through religious values and practices, language, dress etc. If a group is different i.e has a different identity to that shared by most others, they are referred to as 'ethnic minorities'. The media portrays ethnic minorities in various different ways and these have changed dramatically over the years. In the 1980's, coverage of incidents involving ethnic minorities was generally negative and bias towards them. Racism in general was reflected through journalist's attitudes at the time. Nowadays, society is more tolerant but the media can still be seen to shape the public's views. ...read more.

Middle

Representation of ethnic minorities only seems to be achieved through vox pop sound bites or very brief interviews-21% compared with only 4% of whites. Overall, most measures did not show any major examples of prejudice against ethnic minorities however, the findings did draw attention to some more subtle, persistent problems regarding representation and portrayal. The home secretary Jack Straw recently stated that he would not be suprised if the census revealed that 10% of Great Britain's population was now an ethnic minority. At the moment, only 8% are over 60 compared with 21% of white people. This figure suggests that unless there are dramatic changes in the way ethnic minorities are represented and portrayed, his prediction will become a reality. * Using reference to key authors and studies, asses the Pluralist view of the mass media. ...read more.

Conclusion

They both study the media reporting of conflicts and review ideas on agenda setting. GUMG examines various issues of journalistic assumptions and how news is portrayed. It argues that with regard to agenda setting in the news, that both journalists and broadcasters assume everyone sees and interprets the world in the same way therefore it is their views that decide which particular aspects are more important and what viewpoints are to be emphasised. Although, GUMG have been known to slip up on occasions and some pluralist authors have accused them of having a hidden Marxist agenda. Noam Chomsky identifies the media as manufacturing consent. He has both pluralist and Marxist views on agenda setting and the media in general. Overall, there is a large body of evidence to suggest the media is not impartial. In pluralist society there are different and sometimes conflicting values. The media should reflect these values and research suggests it does not but pluralists are aware of this bias and still does not affect their views or opinions. ...read more.

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