Media 's Influence On Public Opinion Essay

1354 Words Nov 30th, 2016 6 Pages
While media’s main purpose is to merely inform the public, it often ends up affecting public opinion. This is the case with immigration and religion. When religious immigrants are portrayed in media as a certain way, society often creates prejudices and stereotypes. These stereotypes—whether they seem positive or negative—will have an overall negative impact on the lives of the immigrant and religious groups involved.
When media portrays immigrants with differences from the majority of the public, a division is formed as “desirable” versus “undesirable” immigrant groups and this further reinforces stereotyping, especially against “undesirable” immigrants . For example, in pre-WWII America, Italian and Irish immigrants were primarily Catholic and were treated differently than the German, French and British Protestant immigrants. The Catholic immigrants became “undesirable” and stereotypes were formed through the use of media that still affect these religious people today. Similarly, Middle-Eastern immigrants of today are constantly a topic of discussion in not only media but also politics. People often react negatively towards this particular immigrant group because of the assumption that these immigrants are Muslim. What if they were not Muslim? Would they still be considered “undesirable” or have the same stereotypes as Muslim Middle-Eastern immigrants?
To begin, one must understand the treatment of Catholic Italian and Irish immigration in the past. Italian immigrants, in…

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