Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Shortsighted media

We know that the mass media plays a vital role in contributing to comprehension and understanding in society, in addition to reporting the news and entertaining the public. That is known as the social function of journalism, and it tends to be forgotten in the media’s race for economic survival: we are not here solely to sell newspapers or get ratings, but also because we are a vital part of democracy and social cohesion.

Our role is particularly important in a society like this one, where immigration creates special needs for the understanding other cultures and combating stereotypes.

A report by the Pew Hispanic Center and the Project for Excellence in Journalism released yesterday tells us that unfortunately, few mainstream media outlets make a real effort at reporting on what is happening in the growing communities in the United States. They conducted a detailed analysis of nearly 35,000 news stories over six months this year and found that Latinos are mentioned fewer than 3% of the time. Other minorities received even less specific coverage of their communities

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