Posted by: chrisforde915 | October 16, 2014

Coincidence or Flexing Systemic Power

In Chapter Four of Mediating the Message, in regards to the media’s affects on social control Stuart Hall (1997) states “ the media’s ability to define an event gives them power within a social system.” I agree with the above statement wholeheartedly.

There has been a disturbing trend of black men being killed, often while unarmed at the hands of police officers, security guards and vigilantes.  With the most recent and publicized headlines of Trayvon Martin and most recently Mike Brown there has been an outcry and an all too familiar narrative surrounding the death of these two teenagers.

However the part that I find most interesting is the role that the media has played in all of this, particularly the portrayal of black victims compared to white suspects or killers. I began to find a common theme promoted through various news reports, headlines plastered on every major news station, and post on social media.

NBC news ran this headline: Trayvon Martin was suspended three times from school.

Fox News headline: Oregon school shooting suspect fascinated with guns but was a devoted Mormon, his friends say.

The media has a major influence on our society, with the content they provide and the imagery chosen which subconsciously paints a narrative to the viewers invoking misplaced emotions without getting the “full”  or accurate story.

The disparity of the narrative shown based on race and class in our society continues to oppress selective groups, while furthering the interest and power of certain groups.

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