What About The Hype Essay Research Paper

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What About The Hype? Essay, Research Paper What about the Hype? In our society today there is one key element that informs the world in many different ways. This element is the media. It comes in many forms such as television, newspapers, magazines etc. Since we are subjected to the media everyday, it can influence how we feel about people. Some influences can be positive and some can be negative. One negative influence that it has is its coverage of African Americans. The media’s coverage of African Americans encourages the majority of white society to have a negative perception of them. Many times in the media whites are not portrayed in such a manner. One of the reasons this occurs is because of the structure in which the news is presented. This reason is shown through

the use of language to describe the events involving African Americas that have taken place. The language is often more “brutal” when an African American story is being told. Another is the consistency in which African Americans appear in the media. A third reason is because whites and blacks do not interact as much in society. A final reason a negative image of African Americans is perceived by white society is because the media is always present. It is almost everywhere you go. Author Farai Chideya says, “The use of vivid and strong language forms a subconscious mental portrayal of the person or persons being described. The mind accepts the language and formulates a perception of that party” (42). A perfect account that supports this quote is when “fancy” language

was used to describe African Americans in the evening news and newspapers. Channel 9, WCPO in Cincinnati, Ohio, reported a story involving an African American in a murder case on February, 4, 2000. Such words as “violent”, “brutal”, and “merciless” were used. These strong words stick in people’s minds when they hear them. Since they were linked to a black man, a negative stereotype can be formed. Later in the broadcast an incident involving a white male was broadcast. In that story, the reporter just gave the facts. Dejecting adjectives were not used to describe this man. This story is significant because the receiver of this information will not have the same prejudices towards the white man as they now have towards the black man. Since stronger words were used to

describe the acts of the black man, a negative stereotype was formed about him. In The Cincinnati Post on Friday, February 4, 2000, a story involving an African American was on the front page. In big, bold letters the heading read, “Man Accused of Vicious Murder”. The story was of an African American male who robbed an innocent, elderly, white woman in Over the Rhine, a neighborhood in Cincinnati, and then murdered her. Because the words “innocent”, “elderly”, and “white” were used in the article a negative stereotype was attributed to the man. Charles Campbell writes, “In the relaying of controversial news, language plays an important role. If one figure in the story is perceived by readers as being unable to protect themselves, or innocent, then the other

figure is extremely looked down upon by the reader” (76). This quote is very significant because it explains how the reader has a more negative feeling towards the black man because of the words that were used to describe the elderly woman. The viewer sees the woman as being “innocent” and unable to do anything about her situation and the black man did not care whatsoever. “African Americans appear on the news as criminals twice as often as other groups”, according to Cole. Stories that are best told with pictures, fires, crime scenes, and handcuffed criminals dominate our newscasts (Cole 4) These images, especially of African American men, lead to stereotypes of black men as “dangerous, unrestrained, sexually active individuals” (Cole 4). This quote is significant