Tuesday, October 2, 2007

In The Eye of The Beholder: 8 & 9

This weeks chapters were my focus for my presentation. Cultural competence and representation are very hard things to cover in the media. Audiences are positioned through the language and images that are used in news reports and the way that issues are characterised or contextualised everyday. This leads us to be exemplified to various racist views in the media which can create moral panic within society, leaving us with the thought of whether or not it is entirely necessary to subdivide groups or “others” within our society.

Firstly, Identity is formed within our society through: ‘The recognition and confirmation of relative “sameness”, the negotiation of multiple and often contradictory positions on a range of issues , and from time to time, the external imposition of undesired or unacceptable norms.’ (Ferguson 1998, p.82)

So if the media are consistenly pumping through our heads what the norm is or what the accepted is, how are we supposed to be objective when we are always being subjected to negative opinions of the "others". Take a look at these two videos both based on the Cronulla Riots and see how both portray a negative connotation towards the muslim race. The first one is more of a satire but still it is being publised on national television. The second is a news reprt on a current affairs and the news reporter in this story should have been pulled up for the way she went about reporting the issues involved within the story. She noticably places force upon the Muslin/Arab race and dissmisses the claims placed again the "white" Australian.
1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycKs08hJ4Is

2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoYWdIZhFBA

The The Walkley Magazine: Raising a Riot story also asked a very valuable question?

The surfies, the Lebs, the Bra Boys, the white supremacists, Alan Jones… there was a cacophony of opinion before and after Cronulla cracked. Should the media wear some of the blame?

I do think that within this particular case the media amped up the story for more than it was worth. Both "races" if thats how it should be put were to blame for the event. Not the initial story but with the angst that was created more people became involved andf more media attention drove audiences to participate.

The media plays a huge role in assisting society on what is common sense or socially acceptable through repetition and a preference for a certain event or framing. Through omission, neglect, or ridicule other ideas lifestyles or behaviours can either be marginalised or become part of the spectacle or bizarre. Boreland and Smith (1996) found that “although engaging in best practice in the approach to most stories, some journalists appear to fail to consider the impact and consequences of their reportage.”

All in all I think its up to the Journalist. Journalists should question themselves on why they are doing a story and evaluate the fairness in what they are going to write. A good journalists should know their own morals and ethics especially when it comes to writing a story on race issues. Balance and Accuracy should also be produced when weighing up actions or decisions on stories.
More importantly its about equal representation of points of view that require a high degree of empathy.


christina said...

Each journalist has a responsibility to question their own motives that's for sure. But it is not just an individual responsibility we are grappling with here. It is a cultural one.It is the dominant culture not taking 'others' seriously. It is an entire way of thinking and being which overrides the concerns of the other. The media plays a part in the creation of culture today much more than say forty years ago. So yes, education and cultural competence of the journalist will go a long way to helping change things but it's also the organisation they work for which must accept it and society itself must recognise it.


CLEAN HAND said...

Hey, you write pretty well for a student. Please accept my compliments. I am a senior journalist from India and would be keen to exchange views and perspectives about journalism. Here is the link to my media blog: http://press-distrust-india.blogspot.com/2006/05/mediocrity-as-news-filter-noam-chomsky_08.html.You will find some more info about me from www.cybermysore.com
Keep the good show going. I wish you well.