Introduction: My topic is about "Miseducation by The Mass Media".
Many people watch TV on a regular daily basis. Severe TV viewers believe that television had become a necessity in their life. (Which basically means that they cannot live without TV).
Statistics shown that the average time per day that the TV is on in US home is 7 hrs and 40 minutes. And average hrs of media consumed daily by Americans is 2 hrs. For children (2 to 17 yrs old) is 3.2 hours.
Mass Media had functioned as convenient sort mechanisms that somehow manage to categorize some of life's most complex matters into nice distinct sections.
But apparently the convenience of utilizing characterization has come at the social cost of perpetuating discriminatory ethnic stereotypes rather than merely playing upon existing societal prejudices.
Television had long been known to use stereotypes to visually cue the viewer to the "identity of a particular character."
Common stereotypes that have been embittered, if not, essentially created by mass media are like:
Germans are all terrorist, Russians are all KGB backed communists, and Japanese are capitalist pigs bent on buying up the free world.
These judgments had already caused many people perpetuating discriminatory beliefs and servings as the basis for prejudice.
The media is invaluable as both a source of information and as means of entertainment.
The mass media is one of the most significant means of presenting information that contribute to forming stereotypes because of its unavoidable presence.
It's presented in newspapers, magazine, or news broadcast.
Blacks and Latinos are often featured as criminal gang members and illegal immigrants when one sees an article about a robbery. A survey shows that 4 out of 5 children believe media can teach them "that people of their race are important and they can be role model".
When high exposures of blacks and Latinos negative image are shown on the news everyday, this made these black and Latino children to think that people that are nonwhite tend to be bad and incompetent.
When an event like the Oklahoma bombing by Timothy McVeigh (not Russian), or the shooting spree in Columbine High School by white teenagers and not blacks and Latinos, it becomes a sensational shocker.
Or even for example: The Ramsey Case (the 6 year old beauty queen that was murdered by her own parents) was such a shocker because they looked like the successful white, middle class, all American family, rather than a struggling low income, broken home which the public has been conditioned to expect such occurrences.
If The Ramsey Family were an African American Family and not an American Family, many viewers would look at this incident as a common incident because of the media has portrayed African Americans as being violent, aggressive, and inherently prone to criminal activities.
The utilization of racial stereotypes when presenting a character in a sitcom or news report is convenient, but eventually these views that encourage prejudices will affect viewer's everyday judgment.
Being the invaluable source of information, the media also spreads propaganda in television and movies.
The most commonly seen stereotyped characters are: Germans and Russians as terrorist. And Asians as organized crime members.
These characters are portrayed in Lethal Weapon 4, Replacement Killers, the Die Hard series, and etc.
Although the movie industries are tying to make money and those portrayals are fictional depictions but reoccurring instances that such discriminatory stereotypes are socially acceptable.
It will also fuel the antagonistic mentality of the public.
At last, ignorance is most often cited as the basis for discrimination, prejudice, and stereotyping, but many of those misconceptions held by society today are actually a direct result of a public miseducation by the mass media.