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What role do the media play in creating moral panic on the issue of Race?

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

What role do the media play in creating moral panic on the issue of Race? Race and Ethnicity (SS-1006M) In this essay my intention is to look into the role of the media and how it affects issues of race. My aspirations are to observe the influence of the media on people from different backgrounds and races. The media has creating a vast amount of moral panic towards race which can be considered to be identified clearly by different issues concerning race. From this essay I will draw my conclusion from all the evidence that I have presented. Media Because media put forward a strong influence on all of us, those people who work in media have a special responsibility. They have to influence society in the right direction. They also have to provide leadership and management. Some media workers, journalists among them, try to avoid this responsibility by claiming that their role is only to reflect society without being bias. But we all realize in this day and age that there is no such thing as a perfect mirror. The image of reality is always distorted by the nature of the mirror. The subjective character of all media makes it impossible for journalists and other media workers to avoid the responsibilities of leadership. The media, all forms of print and electronic media-I'm not just talking about news media, but books, films, magazines, radio, all forms of media- together these represent the image of ourselves.

Middle

The judgements and choices made are based therefore on assumptions that are not informed by, and are often dangerous to, blacks and minority ethnic groups. Newspapers, journals THE RIGHT wing press has jumped on fears about gun crime to whip up racism. They talk of a violent black culture imported by drug dealers from Jamaica, and gun running from Bosnia. David Blunkett and other ministers see no hypocrisy in disapproving black musicians for "glamorising violence" while planning a deadly attack on Iraq. They also ignore the reality of life for black people. Black pupils are nearly six times more likely than white pupils to be excluded from school. In 2000-1 some 13 white children per 10,000 were excluded from school. The figure for black pupils was 74 per 10,000. Black people are eight times more likely to be stopped and searched by the police. Black people are around four times more likely than whites to be arrested. And they are around six times as likely to be given prison sentences. Black men are 2.5 times more likely to be out of work. This is not about culture or lack of ambition. It is about racism. There is research enough to back up their opinions. The media tends to see ethnic minorities as a police and welfare problem, not as assets to society.

Conclusion

All parts of the media are now covered by codes of practice which, among other things, are designed to enable members of the public to complain about racially offensive aspects of media content. Many black editors believe transformation is slow because the media is still controlled by whites and caters mainly for white interests. But their white counterparts argue that their publications do reflect the true diversity of the ethnic minority society. The commission hopes this difference of opinion can be bridged if there is a national effort to raise sensitivities about racial issues in the media. A great deal of the media coverage about potential or actual racist messages in the media is either defensive or aggressive. The main reason for this is that media producers are not likely to warm to the suggestion that they may have accidentally contributed to the shared reserve of racist discourses which are available in our societies. To conclude from this I would like to say that essentially the mass media thrives on sensation and exaggeration to boost their sales. The choice of vocabulary they incorporate and the types of photographs they show have a certain bias to them because they want society to perceive these events in a certain way. Although they claim to reinforce public opinion it is worth asking whether they are a voice for the people or a propaganda tool for the rich and powerful.

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