MS 190: Authorship is the course website for the Fall 2006 Media Studies senior seminar at Pomona College in Claremont, California.
Picture me in class when you read this. It will be almost like I was there.
So I wasn't able to come to class tonight due to a prior engagement so I am blogging to convey my sadness for not being able to attend class and hear about everyone's wonderful papers and projects. I am sure they were all extraordinarily fascinating as I would expect nothing less from such an academically gifted group of students.
Also, since I have yet to blog about my term paper slash thesis and I was unable to talk about it with you all in class today I am going to briefly blog about it instead.
Here goes... I have chosen to write my thesis about the ways in which the US media portray Latinos and how these representations fuel the perceptions of Latinos in American society and more specifically how these media images impact public opinion on immigration and border policy. Phew. That's a mouth full.
Anyhow, I find a surprising amount of information and studies that have been conducted on the representation (or lack there of) of Latinos in the media. The findings are shocking. If you didn't know, Latinos recently surpassed Blacks as the largest minority in the US accounting for 14.5 percent of the total population. However, numerous studies have shown that Latinos get far less coverage in the media than their growing population would suggest.
As one scholar put it, "Hispanic issues rarely matter and even when they do, Hispanics' perspectives on these issues don't matter much."
Even when Latino issues are recognized by the media, their opinions on the issue are not sought out. Furthermore, aside from the blatant underrepresentation of Latinos by the media, Latinos also suffer from misrepresentation. Latinos are much more likely to be cast in entertainment television in a role that fits the stereotypical image of Latinos, aka poor, uneducated, and lazy. Additionally, Latinos are consistently depicted in violent roles in both entertainment television and news media.
News media proves to be the most threatening to the Latino reputation due to the fact that news is expected to be a reflection of reality and therefore people consume the news without question and without at all considering how news is made. I addressed this issue some in my paper but I hope to consider the issue of newsmaking at length in my thesis. The issue of newsmaking will tie in nicely to the second half of my thesis which will essentially be a case study on the media coverage of the immigration debate and how this is shaping public opinion on the issue specifically and Latinos in general.
So that's about it for now. I could go on and on but I will be surprised if anyone even made it this far with all the work I'm sure everyone has to do. My apologies again for being unable to attend class. I look forward to seeing you all in the near future. Best of luck with finals and papers etc. Peace.