Creating moral panic

In this essay my intention is to look into the role of the media and how it affects issues of race. My aspirations are to observe the influence of the media on people from different backgrounds and races.

The media has creating a vast amount of moral panic towards race which can be considered to be identified clearly by different issues concerning race. From this essay I will draw my conclusion from all the evidence that I have presented.MediaBecause media put forward a strong influence on all of us, those people who work in media have a special responsibility. They have to influence society in the right direction. They also have to provide leadership and management. Some media workers, journalists among them, try to avoid this responsibility by claiming that their role is only to reflect society without being bias.

But we all realize in this day and age that there is no such thing as a perfect mirror. The image of reality is always distorted by the nature of the mirror. The subjective character of all media makes it impossible for journalists and other media workers to avoid the responsibilities of leadership.

The media, all forms of print and electronic media-I’m not just talking about news media, but books, films, magazines, radio, all forms of media- together these represent the image of ourselves. That total picture is our version of what we are and it both reflects what we think we are and influences what we think we should be. There is plenty of evidence provided today of this important role of the media..

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.though we don’t always understand exactly how that process works.Racial stereotyping and under-representation of the ethnic minorities are still too common in the British media, journalists have been told. Most days now there are stories about race in the national news. Some are pro-equality, but some are anti. People believe there have been some improvements in the way the media is dealing with race matters, but it’s also valid to say there’s a hell of a long way to go. There’s a problem of description.

When do you see a black or Asian person asked to comment on the economic situation?Television, radioI feel that television is a major part of the media that plays a very important role in creating moral panic towards the issue of race. Television sends out messages to the watchers that are concealed but yet they have a way of changing people’s thoughts and minds. Television and radio try to remain non-biased but I feel that it portrays a biased attitude towards race but it is kept obscured.Channel 4 has not made clear in their programme, or any subsequent statements, that not all the ten people facing charges are Asian. Police have confirmed that they are not all Asian, but those who have watched a preview tape believe that Channel 4 have created the impression that they all are. I believe the vast majority of people will watch it with an open mind and realise the actions of a few individuals does not attack a whole race of people.Edge of the City’ features allegations of Asian men targeting and ‘grooming’ vulnerable young white girls – some as young as eleven – for sex. The film has been condemned for associating a particular race or religion with a particular crime.

Channel 4 originally scheduled the programme ahead of the European and local elections despite the fact that the far-right British National Party were trying to exploit it.A programme called ‘The Trouble With Black Men’ in which THE BBC looked, set to ignore a howl of protests over a TV show which brands African-Caribbean men as “lazy family-wreckers” and aggressive drivers obsessed with gangster rap. The broadcasts look at Black men, crime and sex. Many believe the BBC have used a Black man to head-up a programme promoting an image of Black men which would cause a ‘near riot’ if it was fronted by a white presenter.Little wonder that accepted racialised words and damaging images breed unhindered in a largely white male-dominated industry.

Many media professionals live cut off from urban life, and have little understanding of black inner city areas. There are few black colleagues at the desks around them to correct their limited vision of black people. Therefore, when important decisions are made in the newsroom about what stories to select, what priority to give them and how to present a story, blacks are non-existent. The judgements and choices made are based therefore on assumptions that are not informed by, and are often dangerous to, blacks and minority ethnic groups.Newspapers, journals THE RIGHT wing press has jumped on fears about gun crime to whip up racism. They talk of a violent black culture imported by drug dealers from Jamaica, and gun running from Bosnia.

 David Blunkett and other ministers see no hypocrisy in disapproving black musicians for “glamorising violence” while planning a deadly attack on Iraq. They also ignore the reality of life for black people. Black pupils are nearly six times more likely than white pupils to be excluded from school. In 2000-1 some 13 white children per 10,000 were excluded from school.The figure for black pupils was 74 per 10,000. Black people are eight times more likely to be stopped and searched by the police.

Black people are around four times more likely than whites to be arrested. And they are around six times as likely to be given prison sentences. Black men are 2.5 times more likely to be out of work. This is not about culture or lack of ambition. It is about racism. There is research enough to back up their opinions.

The media tends to see ethnic minorities as a police and welfare problem, not as assets to society. Law found that one-quarter of news items conveyed a negative message about minority groups while ignoring the social problems they faced. Constant media themes link “race” to violence, danger, and crime. Scant attention is given to overcoming the barriers to jobs, houses and schooling among a population hard hit by recurring economic crises.The Press Complaints Commission, funded by the press industry, runs an entirely voluntary system based on Codes of Practice.

The relevant clauses dealing with race are of little use, says Martin Edwards, a media research student. They merely call upon newspapers to avoid “prejudicial or pejorative references to a person’s race, colour or religion”, and to refrain from “publishing such details about a person, unless it is directly relevant to the story.”

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