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Media and Ethnic Minorities

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In a study of Canadian news media highlighted the gulf between objective reporting and the distorted image of ethnic and visible minorities in the news coverage. By either overlooking minorities or presenting them in the role of villain, journalists unconsciously tell us stories about who is relevant and important, who is trustworthy, and who can make trouble. As these stories are frequent in the news, they become the "accepted understandings among those to whom alternative interpretations are not evident” (Ungerleider, 1991). In Britain, few newspapers serve communities with ethnic minority populations.

Even editors of various newspapers have cold-shouldered the representation of ethnic people. They say they get only a few applications from the representatives of ethnic groups and attribute this fraction to the scarcity of minority ethnic students on journalism courses. This is indeed appalling and shocking too in a time of growing celebration of the diversity of ethnic culture and people and concern about inter-ethnic tensions (Alia and Bull, 2005). In the mainstream media, ethnic people are usually attributed as the child of lesser gods, someone who is marginalized and disadvantaged.

Discrimination based on religion, culture is found in abundance in today’ s media. It is predominantly seen that across the world that editors, as well as the staff of various newspapers, are composed of various elitist groups. Having a sense of elitism running over various media houses, representations of ethnic groups in news reports find a little place. Even if the reports of the ethnic community get published there is ambivalence. Readers, on one hand, may read about events that they interpret as highlighting the negative characteristics of ethnic groups.

On the flip side, the more liberal media at least report about cases of discrimination and prejudice. There are many instances. It was seen during the urban disorders in Great Britain in 1985; editorials in the popular press say that “ they have nothing against the black community but… … .” (Dijk, 1991: 8) It is interesting to see whether the British media in the 1980s have done a better job when reporting the turbulence in the UK and whether the media still write from a white-skinned man’ s perception of the world. It is of relevance to note the comments of the black communities, which were even more critical of print media than of television.

One member of the black community was quoted as saying “ the average black person could not give less of a damn about what the media say.

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preview essay on Media and Ethnic Minorities
  • Pages: 7 (1750 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Media
  • Level: Ph.D.
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