Social Media And Racial Stereotypes In The Media

1519 Words 7 Pages
Have you ever wondered why minorities usually have minor roles in a films or advertisements? Why does the person of color have to be violent, inferior, or economically oppressed? There’s a method to every strategy within the media and all of society has been succumbed to it for many years. The media has been the center of attention for people worldwide and is the educator of societal norms. If minorities are seen as outsiders in the media, it is more likely that society will view them the same way. The media cannot take full responsibility for the stereotypes of minorities in today’s society; however, the media should be aware of its power to create and influence society’s understanding of life and diverse individuals. In a 2003 study that …show more content…
Because of its many sources, media has a way of reaching every individual. For example, in young children, “television is a major learning source” (Bang & Reece 2003). For teenagers and young adults, social media and film is the preferred media source; For older adults, television news outlets and radio is the main source of information and daily entertainment. According to an article on the Social Psychology Network, all of the platforms mentioned above are filled with racial stereotypes. “Although the cumulative effect of these stereotypes is hard to assess, the sheer volume of advertising suggests that many people are exposed to stereotypes on a daily basis” (Stereotypes in the Media). Advertisements occupy more than half of newspaper and magazine pages, about 18% of radio time, and 17% of prime time television (Stereotypes in the Media). This article also asserts that advertisements greatly influence how individuals understand one another. “White television viewers who watch a stereotyped comic portrayal of Black people are later more likely to judge a Black defendant guilty of an assault” (Stereotypes in the Media). This article demonstrates the influence of media on society by the listing the effects of its prominence in our daily lives. Each advertisement or other source of media with stereotypic features activates a stereotype in our …show more content…
The people behind the media, journalists and producers, may strive for objectivity, but opinion and cultural norm inevitably comes out. According to Sarah Ashmelash, Jasmijn Remmers, and Tiffany Vang, all authors with backgrounds in civic engagement, “the words and general tone that are used by [journalists and producers] broadcast an opinion, whether it be conscious or unconscious” (Ashmelash, Remmers & Vang 2014). Societal norms and values are reflected in the media and can sometimes be altered and accepted by the way it is constructed. Journalists and producers have the ability to shape a message for the public. For example, using the word “terrorist” instead of “freedom fighter” says a lot to the public and indirectly shows the side of the argument that the publisher is on (Ashmelash, Remmers & Vang 2014). In addition to constructing the messages in the media, there are also agenda-setting and agenda-following that influence public opinion. Agenda-setters create topics and discuss them before anyone else does and agenda-followers simply discuss was is popular in the moment, never creating a new topic. This has a major influence on society because if one message is constantly being seen or heard it can be accepted as the truth and norm of the time. This “spiral of attention” has a major impact on society’s view of other races and even elections. This article explained a study where a

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