Media Communication and Accuracy of Quality of Lives of People of Color

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Media Communication and Accuracy of Quality of Lives of People of Color

The most critical aspects of media performance with regards to race and ethnicity are issues that relate to the quality of its representation of the lives of people of color. Accuracy and diversity are aspects of media performance that will allow for a careful evaluation of how it represents people of color. Evaluating media performance is important because of the utilization and reliance on the mass media for much of society's reflexive monitoring and evaluation of reality. The performance of mass media is important in regards to race and ethnicity because the mass media are the primary source of indirect or mediated experiences that reinforce racial attitudes
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Entman (1990) found that local news stimulated the production of modern racism. Violent crimes committed by blacks was the largest category of local news. Of the eight times in which blacks were subjects of lead stories, six described violent crimes. In addition, blacks were shown as being more dangerous than whites. Entman states that "accused blacks were usually illustrated by glowering mug shots or by footage of them being led around in handcuffs, their arms held by uniformed white policemen."
Salwen and Soruco (1997) state that images of Mexicans in the press reflect racial stereotypes. The researchers point out examples in US press where Mexicans were labeled as "wetbacks" and associated with causing destruction by "introducing one of the world's most destructive insect pest." Gandy (1998) states that blacks are often portrayed as violent criminals. If they are portrayed in human-interest stories, these stories rely upon negative stereotypes. Like Entman and Gandy finding that minorities (blacks) experience inaccurate portrayals of being violent, Salwen and Soruco also report that Hispanics were framed in crime stories more frequently.
Astroff (1989) conclude that mass media tends to reproduce or participate in the reproduction of inaccurate representations, stereotypes, of Latinos. US Latinos were transformed into "Spanish Gold" through the redefinition of (not the elimination of)

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