Blacks In the Media

Blacks In the Media

Unfortunately, the media have a strong influence on how we perceive Black culture these days. " Unfortunately ", because it makes us perceive Blacks in a dangerously wrong way.

This is especially true if a white person does not have much contacts with Black people in one's daily life, one's image of the other race relies mostly on what one gets to know about it through the media, in most cases through watching TV.

The image of Blacks is mostly not created through cases where Blacks occur in the media, but where they do not occur. For example, as we watch TV, we see a great deal of black athletes. But while 60% of all football-players are black, there are only two (!) black coaches in football. How does this influence the image of Blacks? Obviously, it leads us to think of Blacks as being good in sports rather than being good at organizing and managing. The fact that the latter is much more valued in our society adds to the destructiveness of this notion. Blacks are seen to be good at sports, music, comedy, and cheap TV shows, and are seldom representatives of the more valued skills of our society, like verbal or mathematical intelligence or historical or scientific knowledge. The number of Blacks that have these skills is out of balance with the number of them that occur in the media. On the other hand, in the area of crime, we often see Blacks as involved in crime, due to local or national news broadcasts.

In summary, we can say that Blacks do not appear in the media as they should. If they do, then often within a negative context. This indicates that in the field of media, as in the society as a whole, change is needed to show what Blacks are truly capable of (in a positive way), and thereby preventing a wrong and inferior or even hateful image of them.

Gabriele L.

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