The Effect of Inaccurate Portrayals in the Mass Media


The prime crucible for the representation in the twentieth-century context is the mass-media. According to Stuart Hall, media is the field where ideologies are produced as well as transformed as it delineates the social world, images, descriptions, explanations and frames for comprehension of how the world is, and why does it work in the way it is displayed (Hall, 1995, pp. 19). The representations by media often feed in to the dominion of social allegory, as they are always revealing about the fears and fantasies of the people that mingle them. The effects of mass media are distinctive and are not realized much, since, they are construed to be a part of our lives. In today’s world, media holds the power to control and alter human life as well.

The most crucial phase of media performance with regards to race and ethnicity are the ones which speak about the quality of its delineation of the lives of people of color. The assessment of media performance is quite significant for the reason of the utilization and confidence on the mass-media for much of the society’s spontaneous monitoring and the evaluation of factuality. Although, today mass-media has failed to adjudicate its significance, according to Gandy, its performance is significant with regards to race and ethnicity because it is the primary source of indirect experiences that strengthen racial attitudes and beliefs that are amalgamated in to cognitive anatomies (Gandy, 1998). As a result, mass-media can be construed as a place where the factuality is constructed and racism may be made a replica. According to Shan and Thorton, the research of minority groups has eventually delineated that minorities are sometimes portrayed as being violent, pre-historic, and politically unrefined (Shan & Thorton, 1994). Moreover, the research has postulated that various types of behaviors amongst minorities may be construed by whites as quite pathological or deviant due to the inaccurate representation of them by the media. Since, it ignores all the historical context and structural delineations for social trends, it is represented as inaccurate. The news magazines make a replica of racism by bringing about a racial hierarchy carried out by chiefly the whites and put away by them, which led to the positioning of blacks at the bottom. This led to another research by Entman, who found that the local news is the biggest stimulator for the production of modernistic racism for the reason that the violent crimes committed by the blacks were the largest category of local news (Entman, 1990). The accused blacks were generally illustrated by the hard view of mug shots or even by the recording of them being led around in manacles, while their arms held by uniformed white law enforcements.


Hall, Stuart. 1995. ‘The Whites of Their Eyes: Racist Ideologies and the Media’ in Dines and Humez 1995: 18-22.


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