Race, Ethnicity, and Social Class in the News

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Set aside some time to view television news on your local NBC, CBS, or ABC network. Do not use national outlets, such as CNN, Fox, MSNBC, or morning shows such as Good Morning America. Watch two different 15- to 30-minute segments of your local television news on two different days of the week. Take notes about how different races, ethnicities, and social classes are portrayed. Note how much time is spent portraying crime or other negative topics. If there is not much crime coverage, simply note what topics and groups are shown and how they are presented. Remember, the lack of coverage on negative topics, such as crime, is just as meaningful as a great deal of coverage.


In your discussion post, share the local news programs you watched and the days and times you watched them. Then address each of the following questions, using specific examples from the segments you watched to illustrate your points:

  • How were various race or ethnic groups portrayed in the news segments you viewed?
  • Were the groups in your own racial or ethnic group portrayed accurately?
  • Did the news you viewed perpetuate stereotypes or was it fairly accurate overall? Explain, giving specific examples from the segments you watched.
  • Did the news stations over-represent crime, relative to the reality of crime in your community? If so, speculate why.
  • To what extent does the portrayal of members of minority groups reflect their overall socioeconomic status? Reflect on whether those in the community with higher social status are portrayed more favorably than those of lower status.
  • Share at least one example of how the representation of different races in the media you viewed reflected a hierarchy in which race and class intersect.
  • Can our interaction with entertainment and news media have any influence on our perceptions and understanding of race, ethnicity, or social class and members of minority groups? If so, how?

Special Instructions:

Create a 1 page essay in APA format according to the instructions above. Use 2 academically reviewed sources for references. Utilize in-text citations.


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