Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Diversity in Media

Maria Stroia

What does diversity mean?

Although diversity has existed since the beginning of mankind, it is only recently that media has begun to address it at all. Diversity can have a very vague meaning, but Merriam Webster defines diversity as the condition of having or being composed of differing elements; or the inclusion of different types of people (such as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization. In recent years, there has been a push to include more diversity in media and journalism, and to provide a more accurate representation of what diversity looks like within the United States and the rest of the world. 

After all, the U.S. is not just made up of straight, white men and women. The U.S. is a melting pot of various races, sexualities, ethnicities and identities. Each and every person comes from a different background - whether it be poor, rich, middle-class. 

Diversity in News and Media

According to an article read in class, Ad Campaigns Are Finally Reflecting Diversity of The U.S.: But Why Did It Take So Long to Recognize Socially Liberal Shift?, writer Natalie Zmuda answers the questions posed in the title. Recently, ad campaigns have acknowledged the diversity that has long existed in the U.S. and are just now addressing it. Campaigns now feature gay couples, interracial couples and people of color in their campaign. Most of these minority groups appreciated being represented in the mainstream media. 

Zmuda states that the reason it has taken so long is because ad companies use census data to correctly reflect the size of different minority groups in the U.S., the last census results being published in 2010. She also believes it's because there has been a dramatic shift towards a more socially liberal society. In general, the population is more acceptive to alternative living styles, especially ifthey do not influence them. She believes also that this shift has occurred for awhile, but began with more niche companies, moving more into larger, more prominent organizations.

On the other hand, in journalism, the politics rising from diversity issues have been a large part of what's going on in the news, and journalists must keep changing their ethics code to be sure they are covering stories in an unbiased way. Not only do they need to cover political stories in an objective way, but they also need to be speaking to the correct sources in order to explain the issues in the correct way.

Actor Riz Ahmed spoke about the importance of diversity in the media - specifically in television and movies. As a muslim actor, he is known for his work in Star Wars: Rogue One, and Nightcrawler. In the video, he states that many diverse groups are misrepresented in the media, and that changing the stereotypes presented can be damaging to groups in the public.

The bottom line is, the way journalists report their stories can influence public opinion, and they must be aware that their words can have consequences.

No comments:

Post a Comment