Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Media Images of Minorities

Dana D. Dyson and John R. Arnold, and Sasha Drummond-Lewis, University of Michigan, Flint, have published Lights, Camera, Action: Repressive Policies and Minority Images in Media.  Here is the abstract.

This ethnography specifically looks at images depicted in media of minorities, using the 1971 Kerner Commission, which charged media to create a more balanced picture of minorities with more realistic and positive representations. Positive images can challenge notions of inferiority and systems of inequality. This research is an overview of stereotypical images of minorities permeating news media today, reflecting how far we have come in eliminating ignorance and discomforting messages. We are especially interested in reviewing the effects of minority images on recently developed and implemented policing policies, such as Stop and Frisk and Stand Your Ground. The improper portrayal of African-Americans in the media may contribute to the use of ungrounded force and mistreatment on innocent bystanders. We believe that W.E.B. DuBois’s maxim about the problems of the color line still resonates within the American ethos in spite of the election of our nation’s first African-American President. It is our hope that this examination adds to our understanding of race and media in the 21st Century.

The full text is not available from SSRN.

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