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Examine The Ways In Which Ethnicity Is Presented In The Media

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Introduction

Examine The Ways In Which Ethnicity Is Presented In The Media In the media today ethnic minorities can be presented in a variety of ways. They can be presented as criminals, as a threat, as abnormal, as unimportant and as victim. It can potentially be very dangerous "pigeon holing" ethnics like this and it can have a significantly bad affect on the whole of society in general. Ethnic minorities, particularly people of black origin are often portrayed in the media as criminals or linked in with crime. Van Dijk conducted a content analysis of tens of thousands of news items across the world over several decades. He found that black crime and violence are one of the most frequent issues in ethnic coverage. Black people, particularly Afro Caribbeans tend to be portrayed, especially in the tabloids as criminals. Stuart Hall suggests that ethnic groups are often defined in the British Media as social problems, as criminals around which we often find moral panics constructed. In his view the press are responsible for creating racist images such as the "black mugger" frequently used in the 1970's. ...read more.

Middle

For example the race riots in Oldham perhaps could have been avoided if the media had not used stereotypes of both races and tried to prove how much indifference their was between the community. Following the riots people will argue that the media should handle racial stereotypes with great care and that using tired typecasts can cause serious damage within communities. Some people believe that ethnic minorities are often presented as unimportant and that they do not matter. Their argument is that they are not represented in film and television; however, others will disagree with this opinion as they argue that television bosses, in particular are almost forced by those funding their show to have an ethnic character/presenter. They would argue that the most popular show in Britain is "Eastenders", this has many characters that are black. Some would argue back that the other popular soaps such as Coronation Street do not have any people of black origin. However, it does have Asian representatives. This is because there is a large population of blacks in London (where Eastenders is set) and a large amount of Asians in and around Manchester (where Coronation Street is set) ...read more.

Conclusion

However, against this it can be argued that ethnic minority problems are ignored because of their race and that the media won't present them as victims because they do not understand their problems. Overall with all the evidence taken into consideration, ethnics are presented more than fairly in the media. If this essay was to be written in the 1970's perhaps there would be different evidence but now times have changed and ethnic minorities are often treated on the same level as whites. Editors of the media appear to be afraid to write anything that might be deemed racist and so sometimes stories will have to be changed to present ethnics in a favourable light. This does not mean that whites are under-represented in the media by any means but, there are now more opportunities for ethnic minorities to present themselves through the media in a more favourable light. This could be contributed to the fact that editors know that this country has became so conscious of being politically correct and representing all communities that they can get away with certain things with whites but, can get away with a lot less with ethnic minorities due to the uproar than can be caused. Will Hemsley - 12AK Ms. Dutton Sociology Essay ...read more.

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