~~July 23, 2016~~
RACISM AND THE MEDIA
By Yasmin Jiwani
As a major institution in society, the media play a critical role
They provide us with definitions about who we are as a nation; they reinforce our values and norms; they give us concrete examples of what happens to those who transgress these norms; and most importantly, they perpetuate certain ways of seeing the world and peoples within that world.
Media and Racism: How then do the media perpetuate racism?
The media do not stand in isolation from the society on which they report. In fact, they are an integral part of society.
They utilize the same stock of knowledge that is part of that pool of “common sense” which informs all of our lives. It is common sense to expect punishment if one has committed a crime; it is common sense to have a system of law and order; it is common sense that some people will make more money than others.
This pool of common sense knowledge is a reservoir of all our unstated, taken-for-granted assumptions about the world we live in. It is filled with historical traces of previous systems of thought and belief structures.
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