• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Media and Racism: does the British media help maintain racism?

Extracts from this document...


Media and Racism: does the British media help maintain racism? Racism in Britain can be traced centuries back especially to the time of the Slave Trade where Britain was regarded as a key figure in creating and maintaining racial hierarchies. This report will assess the role of the British media in maintaining racism in British society and it will focus particularly on the last forty years or so i.e. 1960's onwards. In the report, I will largely rely on the research and work done by other authors in relation to the 'media and racism' but I will also include an evaluation of media coverage of the Bradford Riots in 2001. The report will conclude with a few recommendations on how the media can overcome racism. I have discovered through my research several authors who clearly describe the media as racist and argue that the media assists in maintaining racism in society. Van Dijk (1991), states that the most original and influential early study of the Press in the reproduction of racism was done by Hartmann and Husband (1974), who argued that the media was racist and created an impression amongst readers that black people represented a problem or a threat. They were so defiant on the media being racist that they called their book 'Racism and the Mass Media' rather than 'Race and the Mass Media'. ...read more.


Hence, it is why I call the media racist. Other critiques argue that it is difficult to empirically measure racism and question exactly when and where racism is being referred to in a text. For example, does the use of a photograph showing a persons face in a news story always carry racial meaning? One may agree showing the photograph of a black male in a criminal story carries racist meaning but they must also agree showing the photograph of a white male in particular roles like experts for example, also carries racial meaning. Using this argument, they may question the reliability of my research especially on the evaluation of media coverage of the Bradford Riots in 2001. Law (2002) argues that a consistent method to measure racism in a text so that it can be regarded as valid and reliable is to measure the negative attributes. The term negative attribution is a contested concept and each of its meanings prove useful in measuring racism in the media but many problems are also associated with each meaning. One definition is known as Whitecentrism (Ferguson, 1998) and includes the measurement of negative attributions of minorities against a white norm. For example, Cummerbatch et al (1996) analysed a sample of television programmes and found that in one particular aspect of portrayal there was no negative attribution as six percent of minority ethnic characters were criminals compared to eight percent of white characters. ...read more.


For example, if a photograph of a criminal is used in a crime story then such a photograph should be used in all crime stories. When the media refers to a story like mugging by a black male for example, it would be ideal if it could mention the national statistics on the number of black male muggers in comparison to white muggers or other crimes. This should prevent unfair racial stereotypes. Reference List Critcher, C. et al (1977) cited in Van Dijk, T. (1991) RACISM AND THE PRESS London: Routledge Cummerbatch, G. et al (1996) Ethnic Minorities on Television London: Independent Television Commission Entman, R. M. ana Rojecki, A. (2000) cited in Law, I. (2002) RACE IN THE NEWS Basingstoke: Palgrave Ferguson, R. (1998) Representing 'Race' London: Arnold Hartmann, P. and Husband, C. (1974) cited in Van Dijk, T. (1991) RACISM AND THE PRESS London: Routledge Law, I. (2002) RACE IN THE NEWS Basingstoke: Palgrave McNair, B. (1998) The Sociology of Journalism London: Arnold Shohat, E. and Stam, R. (1994) unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media London: Routledge Stratham, P. (1999) 'Political Mobilisation by Minorities in Britain: Negative Feedback of 'Race Relations'' Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol. 25(4), October, pp. 597-626 Troyna, B. (1981) Public Awareness and the Media: A Study of Reporting on Race London: Commission for Racial Equality Van Dijk, T. (1991) RACISM AND THE PRESS London: Routledge ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Media section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Media essays

  1. Free essay

    Assess the role of the media

    3 star(s)

    An example of where our society has become more permissive is with ethnicity, racism which previously was a massive problem in society has gradually reduced and is not so widespread now and our society is far more diverse and accepting of diversity, also shown in Gay Rights or gender roles

  2. How is Crime represented in the Media

    Place People in urban areas have many impersonal relationships which means they are more likely to rationalise their criminal behaviour because their victims are either shops and businesses or people with whom they do not have close, personal, ties. Socialisation in rural communities is more likely to involve effective relationships in dealing with people on a close, personal, level.

  1. To what extent do the media effects an individual's self-identity?

    So these magazines see women as sex objects. I couldn't prove my hypothesis by simply conducting a content analysis as my opinions as a feminist could be selective and my interpretations could then overlook the study. So in order to avoid this, I decided to conduct some short, informal interviews with 3 women.

  2. Moral Panic and media folk devils.

    My questions are: * Are moral panics based mostly on facts or rumour? * How does violence in computers and on T.V. affect it? * How does the influence of music and books affect it? * How does social class affect it?

  1. The Effects of the Media on Criminal Behaviour

    behaviour after was down to what they had seen on the video, or because frustration causes aggression, and that was why they were violent. Also, these children had learnt to be violent towards an inanimate object - would these children be so aggressive towards a real person?

  2. To what extent do media representations of refugees and asylum seekers limit their integration ...

    that reality gets bypassed, we are merely left with exploding signs and simulacra (worlds of media generated signs and images). Baudrillard (1991) uses the example of the Gulf War to illustrate this. He argues that it was a hyperreal representation on our television screens, the real battles were now replaced by media saturation.

  1. Assess cultural pessimist views of the new media

    the same, as competition between TV channels pressures them to fill schedules with similar low-quality content. Cultural pessimists note there are many negative social effects of new media. New media encourages consumerism, i.e. individuals need to have separate devices to use new media.

  2. To what extent does the Media affect body image in teens and their perception ...

    On the other hand, there were questionnaires that I could use that gave detailed answers. 21% of all the results think the Media are the main cause of having a certain figure however 27% thought their friends pressured them to fit in with everyone else.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work