Media has always played a broad part in representing ethnic minorities. However, it’s generally through narrow lines when they represent themselves. It reflects a certain type of prejudice against them from the dominant community. Representation of African-Americans in media is often controversial and reflects the interest of the dominant group. Media encourages the development of these stereotypes and promotes a hostile living situation full of racism or sexism.
Media, itself, bears the power to correct all the situations that it has created in the past. The journalists possess the power to bridge the ideological gap that has surfaced in people’s minds. A discussion was held at Northeastern University’s Docker’s Hall to discuss this situation. Jonathan Kaufman, director of the School of Journalism, Charles Fountain, associate professor of Journalism, and Margaret Burham, University Distinguished Professor of Law joined the conversation.
Burham had raised an important question as to why media went on to create such a difference. Instead, it created was of not fencing people together. In addition, Kaufman had retorted by saying that it’s all a result of the reluctance of media, especially the white reporters. Kaufman recollected an incident that took place in the 1980s where he had to talk to his colleagues about how to tell stories on race. The coverage by his team had earned a Pulitzer Prize.
He says, “A lot of people read past the jump on that story. It was just a matter of looking at things from a different angle. But there’s no question about the moral import of this. And I worry that issues like Yawkey Way or the monuments elsewhere can be distracting from these larger issues. The question we have to ask ourselves as journalists are, ‘Is there a way to write about this in a way that moves the conversation forward?’” The media needs to think and get a deeper insight on how it broadcasts these issues involving race, and consequently, curb the promotion of racial prejudice.