Australian Studies: Guided Issues Study - Indigenous people in the media
"Aboriginal people are not able to counter mass media stereotyping". Discuss
One of the biggest problems with Aboriginal people gaining widespread acceptance in the Australian community is the negative stereotyping created by the mass media. The average media stereotype of an Aboriginal person is uncivilized, ill tempered, unemployed, violent, and often inebriated. While not all media portray this, the few that do not only have a relatively insignificant influence as their readers and viewers only form a minor percentage of the population.
The items the media publish featuring Aboriginal people tend to generate and reinforce these cultural stereotypes by, practically, exclusively featuring articles that draw attention to Aboriginal people in a negative way, and isolating the Aboriginal community's worst members. This causes the Australian community to generalise all Aboriginal people as subsisting similar to this. In addition, they rarely focus on the positive members of the Aboriginal community and show Aboriginal people in a positive manner.
In addition, they rarely illustrate the benefits Aboriginal citizens provide for society.
Articles in popular newspapers featuring Aboriginal people also tend to be prejudiced, biased and misrepresentative. Furthermore, the few that do show the other side of the argument often only mention it at the end of the article, where less than 20% of readers reach. The result is that most people are left with a narrow view of Aboriginal people, as the article does not show the cause of the problem, nor does not show the Aboriginal person's side.
One typical example of an article that is imbalanced is "Children of the shadows", published on page 10 of the Monday May the 12th 2003 Australian. The article highlights one Aboriginal person and this gives the impression that all the "street kids"...