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The Visible minorities in televisual media in North America.

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THE VISIBLE MINORITIES IN TELEVISUAL MEDIA IN NORTH AMERICA INTRODUCTION: Today we are going to discuss race, class and gender in tele-visual media. "When asked, in a 2002 Poll, whether the government should preserve and enhance multiculturalism, 82 percent of Canadians said yes. So why, asks Lionel Lamb, from Carleton University's school of Journalism, "are millions of minorities that are so visible on our streets and shopping malls, our offices and health care centers, so invisible on our television screens?" "Seventy per cent of dramas, sitcoms and series that Canadians watch are produced in the U.S. Images of minorities are lacking on those screens and they're lacking on Canadian screens as well" (www.media-awareness.ca, Link Diversity and Canadian Broadcasting Policy) Race being by definition: Any of the group into which human can be divided according to their physical characteristics such as color of skin, culture, history and language. Class being by definition: A group of people at the same social or economic level. i.e. Professionals; in terms of roles played on television, socially-the gay and lesbian groups, political affiliations, and people with disabilities. Gender being by definition: The condition of being male or female. For example: The distribution of characters by gender on television. (Definitions according to the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary-Fifth Edition) PRODUCTION The Production of television shows plays a big part in what and how visible minorities are shown. "In 2002, a UCLA study concluded that "minorities are even more underrepresented in key behind the scenes creative decision making positions than they are on the television screen". ...read more.


This has direct effect because they are seeing someone they can relate on TV both in color and sex. For example "tough guys" commercial. In this advertisement men and boys alike are relating themselves to what they see on TV. Advertising influence has played a major role on enforcing all white shows in the past. In the past advertising money influenced networks shows to produce an all white conservative viewpoint of North America. With the changing times and the influences of the 60's and 70's, and the significant social movements of the times, advertisers realized they had to cater to a much more diverse marketplace. Therefore the networks were able to change their programming to be more diverse. Some networks are changing this landscape and they must include the more diverse ethnic population in North America with the buying power. The reason for this is simple demographics. " The face of Canada has changed over the past 40 years... In 1961, visible minorities accounted for 3 percent of the population of Toronto...and today, it is over 50 percent." (www.media-awareness.ca---Link Diversity and Canadian Broadcasting Policy) In the gender sector white women were the most visually represented in comparison to the women form the other races, though they were minor compared to the men. However these days' women form other races like Asians and Africans have had tremendous increase in representation on television while even performing major roles. Television news and reality shows are a prime example; the popularity of Julie Chen who is the host of Big Brother and does Good Morning America demonstrates her appeal. ...read more.


FUTURE PROSPECTS The management of television corporations has taken the initiative to introduce new shows on the networks. These shows have brought employment opportunities for the visible minorities in terms of production and acting. Producers and actors are being employed by companies as way of encouraging diversity in the programming. The diversification of television programming is a great way of improving the economic, social and cultural values of our society. Television technology has improved from the historical black and white television sets to colored TV sets. So why should not the actors on the television and the content be "colored" as well. CONCLUSION Recent representation of minority groups on television programs is still low. How will this demonstrate the equal rights of individuals in terms of gender, multicultural and the multiracial nature of society? In conclusion, the image of the visible minority in tele-visual media in North America has changed substantially not only the face of television but also the production. With this shift in thinking television corporations have been able to increase their audience through diverse programming. This idea of diversity in visual media has spread to advertising companies and is being used as a way of targeting the increasing visible minorities. Presently watching diverse programs on television has a positive impact on audience. This is because the viewers are watching different cultural programs which gives them new information. This teaches young people, the children about others. It also teaches them how to relate, value and respect other people in a multicultural society other their own race. ...read more.

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