Indians And The Media Essay

801 words - 3 pages

The biggest problems with Aboriginal people gaining widespread acceptance in the Australian community is the negative stereotyping created by the mass media. The average media stereotype of an Aboriginal person is uncivilized, ill tempered, unemployed, violent, and often inebriated. While not all media portray this, the few that do not only have a relatively insignificant influence as their readers and viewers only form a minor percentage of the population.The items the media publish featuring Aboriginal people tend to generate and reinforce these cultural stereotypes by, practically, exclusively featuring articles that draw attention to Aboriginal people in a negative way, and isolating the Aboriginal community's worst members. This causes the Australian community to generalize all Aboriginal people as subsisting similar to this. In addition, they rarely focus on the positive members of the Aboriginal community and show Aboriginal people in a positive manner. In addition, they rarely illustrate the benefits Aboriginal citizens provide for society.Articles in popular newspapers featuring Aboriginal people also tend to be prejudiced, biased and misrepresentative. Furthermore, the few that do show the other side of the argument often only mention it at the end of the article, where less than 20% of readers reach. The result is that most people are left with a narrow view of Aboriginal people, as the article does not show the cause of the problem, nor does not show the Aboriginal person's side.One typical example of an article that is imbalanced is "Children of the shadows", published on page 10 of the Monday May the 12th 2003 Australian. The article highlights one Aboriginal person and this gives the impression that all the "street kids" are Aboriginal, even though there are almost certainly more non-Aboriginal "street kids". The article does not make mention of how the majority of the children came to live on the streets, but instead focuses on a single child with a negative story. What's more, the writer does not try to interview the parents of the child, to see the whole picture. Positive steps that are being carried out are only mentioned at the conclusion of the article. This gives the reader an extremely cynical viewpoint about Aboriginal people.These negative stereotypes do not merely influence people's outlook on Aboriginal people, but also construct a negative identity for Aboriginal teenagers, possibly leading to the teenagers fulfilling the negative stereotype. Additionally, the negative...

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