Journalisim And Afriacan Americans Essay

2154 words - 9 pages

Question 5 first asaignment News : Text and Institutions.Describe how a minority group is portrayed by the media.I spoke with you in England and my professor said that it was ok to use African Americans During the 1700ths when America was looking from its independence from England , the slave situation was used in a particular way. The pre-Revolutionary press printed a few articles letters and poems that described and compared their situation under the English rule with a situation similar to the ones that the slaves had to encounter. However despite the recognition of the suffering of the slaves, the Independence of 1776 applied only to white men. After the independence the new government was built on racial discrimination that excluded the African Americans from their pursuit of happiness, soon the press became blind to the needs of the persons that had no power. The press became a system to oppress rather that to inform because the reading privilege was only granted to a few men. But the journalism claim that they are impartial. journalism is supposed to reflect reality and present citizens with the facts they need to make informed decisions ,but often the media reinforce age old stereotypes. Unfortunately little attention have been given to the study of the news and its messages to the public. The news media is one of the most important and influential systems of communications system to the public. The news media is more influential than the cinema because the news media are expected to be representing reality , the way the world is and not a fantasy like in the movies.Negative stereotypes of African Americans have been part of American culture for a long time. These stereotypes served a specific purpose to maintain social , economic and political privileges over African Americans . Slavery in itself was against the basic principles of Christianity. To justify their actions against the slaves it was necessary to dehumanize them. One of the main justification toward slavery was that slave traders were actually doing slaves a favor because according to the slave traders in their land the slaves worshipped savage and pagan gods, by bringing them to America the slave trades were exposing them to civilization and god. An other stereotype was that Africans were not quite humans but rather primitive beings that lived in savage conditions. The most benevolent of these justifications was that the slaves were childlike beings that needed guidance. These ways of thinking became common in magazines and newspapers during the time of slavery. If slavery is no longer existent one must ask why and are these stereotypes existent in our society. Large segments of the white population have only superficial contact with racial minorities either in their neighborhoods or at work . They have few sources to inform them about racial issues. Most consumers think that the portray of the news media of racial minorities is an accurate one , however...

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