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International Journalism - Essay Example

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In 1991, a videotape taken by a bystander of a man being beaten up by four armed policemen - three of whom were white and one, Latin American - was given prominent airtime in news and public information shows all over the United States. The footage showed officers of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) violently striking one Rodney King with a baton until he could no longer stand up and using an electroshock weapon on his person.
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International Journalism
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International Journalism

Download file to see previous pages... More than fifty people lost their lives in the three-day frenzy of violence. The main cause of furor was the belief that the police violence was racially-motivated and the ferocity of the attack would not have happened if Rodney King were white. Media branded it as yet another example of racial profiling, and indeed it was. It was more than racial profiling in fact: it was brazen discrimination, it was violence of the most deplorable kind as it was perpetrated against a member of a race historically known to be marginalized. Indeed, media was right to condemn it at the first instance. (although it certainly condemned as well the frenzy of attacks and the riots that followed.)
The Rodney King affair is indeed a glaring example of racial violence and overt acts of discrimination and should certainly be condemned. However, to focus on major events such as this is dangerous as well as it might be too easy to forget that there are subtle and insidious forms of discrimination taking place on a daily basis and in a sense, they are more dangerous because these forms of discrimination are more difficult to legislate against. ...
As social scientists have taught, the consequences of segregation are far-reaching. Braddock and McPartland's study (1989) found that:

Blacks who grow up in a largely segregated environment are more likely to lead adult lives in segregated situations. At any given age, Blacks who are segregated in one institutional sphere - be it in education, residential location, employment, or informal social contacts - are also likely to have mostly segregated experiences in other institutional environments.

While media has indeed played a big role in raising consciousness and against racism, an important question that should be asked in the field of international journalism is whether or not media has actually been contributory to fanning the flames of racism. Has there been racial profiling in media news reports as well that need to be scrutinized and explored This is important because There can be no denying that media plays an important role in the molding of social values and in the legitimization of personal perceptions. It has been said that media is even more potent than formal education, in that its effects seep into the subconscious and accost individuals wherever they may be, whatever time of the day. In the United States, 98% have at least one television, 70% have more than one television, 70% have cable, and 51% of households with children have a computer. (Paik & Cornstock, 1994.)

Stereotyping is one subtle form of racial profiling. The website Media Awareness Network states that "stereotypes act like codes that give audiences a quick, common understanding of a person or group of people-usually relating to their class, ethnicity or race, gender, sexual orientation, social role or occupation." However, stereotyping is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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