Stereotypes and Media Essay
Stereotypes and Media
One of the greatest influences every person experiences in his life today is the call of media - Stereotypes and Media Essay introduction. Media have been the means of man to communicated to another person, and there have been a lot of instances wherein media was used to take advantage of a lot of people. Media is used today by one person or company to communicate to a wide array of people. Media is being used to sell and produce high profits.
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Unfortunately, media is not only used to make a profit by selling a lot of products to those people who don’t even need them in the first place. Today, media is also used to something beyond that. There has been racial spurts. Stereotypes are built through these media. Since it was mentioned that media has a strong influence on a person, it can be expected that there could be harm done.
Stereotyping is, according to Media Awareness Network, attaining a “common understanding” of a certain group of people classified by gender, race, class, or occupation. It is when one believes that what is true for one can be generalized to his entire classification. This may lead to a biased and racial behavior, and should be avoided at all times.
There are, however, two rising points today wherein one can observe these racial spurts in media. First is how news broadcasts portray other cultures in times of terror. Second is how advertisements portray a superior culture. Both avenues strongly aid stereotypes.
In this period of terrorism, with the aid of news broadcasting, a lot of people have equated terrorists to a certain group of people. In the news, one would notice that a lot of the terrorist attacks are related to the people from the Middle East. It was a constant scenario since the 9/11 incident, and the ordeal was too recent for the people to forget their loss. However, with this line of stories, people sometimes fail to consider that terrorism is not exclusive for the people from the Middle East. Any culture can cause havoc on another culture, but there has always been a tendency for viewers to assume and expect the worst of “other” cultures.
Furthermore, there has been a report wherein people were walking through flood. On the picture of a black man’s ordeal, he was called a looter. On the next picture, wherein it was the turn of the Caucasian, they were given milder terms. According to Resonant Information, this was held true from the Canadian Press and the Associated Press.
This should not be the case. Branding people should never be involved in news articles and/or broadcasts. News are meant to be unbiased and objective. Personal spite should not be incorporated. Words should be chosen well, and perspectives should not be one sided. To reinstate, media can greatly influence a lot of people. Exposing them to such news implies that they are allowed to be spiteful of other people as well.
The second means of media stereotyping other cultures is through advertisements. If one would observe carefully, there are a lot of advertisements wherein the Caucasian is usually portrayed as a superior. Otherwise, when the “other” people are portrayed in their advertisements, they seem to be deficient in a lot of things. Paula Rargaj-Reynolds gathered some of these said advertisements in her site. A lot of them were disappointing, in the sense that in this globalizing world, such racist ads would exist. In one TV spot, she wrote, was a commercial by Prego. There was an African-American couple wherein the man was presented to have a below than average intelligence. Although it was not explicit, it was evident enough to find the spite there. Media was telling the people that African-American people always talk and act in the same manner. It is able to manipulate man’s way of thinking.
According to Media Awareness Network, companies have argued that it is all business and profit. However, it was also written in the same article that these companies also pay extra to have white models in their advertisements. But that does not give anyone the right to neglect or overlook others, or to lift their own to be over others.
Everyone should be treated and represented equally. But if there are striking differences, which could be considered as facts, then these should not be the highlight of any advertisement. Every thing should be diversified. There should not be black, white or multi-colored. There are not superior or inferior people. Instead, there should only be one people, a global people.
Furthermore, if they want more profit, then they should broaden their market. They could argue that not all products can be applicable to all people. But to take that, and present another angle wherein a people could be generalized by an image or phrase, then it aided in stereotyping that people. It is putting others down for their benefit.
In conclusion, there are those who are taking advantage of the power of media. Stereotyping cases are not brought about but the presence of media, but it is the people behind these who lead the stereotyping. Media are mere tools in communicating to people. They do not point fingers or label cultures without the aid biased minds. They say its business, but it could be a clean transaction. They don’t have to portray prejudiced ideas in news or advertisements. They can respect everyone and have better lives.
Media Awareness Network home page. 2008. 27 March 2008 <http://www.media- awareness.ca/english/index.cfm>.
“Online Activism: Media Stereotypes And The Rise Of Smart Mobs.” Robin Good. 9 June 2007. 27 March 2008 <http://www.masternewmedia.org/information_access/online- activism/media-stereotypes-war-online-activism-20070609.htm>.
Rargaj-Reynolds, Paula. “Racism. It’s in there.” Advertising is Good for You. 17 July 2007. 27 March 2008 ;http://pzrservices.typepad.com/advertisingisgoodforyou/
Zed. “Racism in News Coverage.” Resonant Information. 3 September 2005. 27 March 2008 ;http://www.resonant.org/20050903-racism-in-news-coverage;.