Whilst I was studying sociology, I recall an interesting study I came across. Stuart Hall, Policing the Crisis. Hall noted in his research findings that many crimes such a “mugging” and knife crime was specifically being linked to ethnic minorities, particularly young African and Afro-Caribbean males. Hall, also understood that there was a huge moral panic in the 90’s, the media had released numerous reports linking violent crime to Black youths. In that time Hall stated, that the media and police did not plan to create a moral panic. The panic came from changing circumstances. Nonetheless, moral panic was caused which negatively effected many ethnic minorities. Furthermore, the police was also given the power to ‘stop and search’ Black youths unannounced who they thought were suspicious. This caused a feeling of resentment and often provoke a violent and negative reaction in self defense from Black youths. Unfortunately hall’s study is still very relevant even today as not much as changed.
The media in specific has not changed at all, its fair to argue that the police have mildly been trying to remain educated about ethnic minorities and culture. However, the media has stayed strong to it’s ignorant and trouble making ways. For those who are unaware about how the news organisations works, you be interested to know that news values and news agendas ultimately decide what is to be broadcasted and also in what order. If a story is deemed significant enough, it can be broadcasted. This is also known as one of the news value “Thresholds”. The story, needs to then meet further thresholds, such as staying relevant and “alive”. The media therefore, creates moral panics. Moral panics are indeed hitting every threshold there is directly, meeting all targets. The media, has been accused of sensationalising crimes revolving around ethnic minorities. Attaching a level of drama and panic, making it newsworthy.
Moreover, the media tends to highlight ones race and religion only when the subject is from an ethnic minority. The image below, shows us the difference in words when addressing criminals from a ethnic background:
Similarly, when its a Black individual who has been charged of a crime, the media always highlights the race more than what the actual crime committed.
linking something negative such as a crime to ones race or religion, will then form a subconscious bond in our minds. we will begin to link a crime to a certain race and only see that one attribute. we will not see, what the crime actually is, what caused it, its implications. We will only see the criminals race first. The media, is indeed hugely to blame for this as putting the race of the individual in the first sentence and the crime in the second sentence almost implies its the race that’s the offence not the crime.
Most of the huge media co-operations are owned and managed by White members of the bourgeoisie. Therefore, whenever a White individual is involved in a crime, the only attribute that is mentioned is the gender.
This is evident from the images below showing news articles from different co-operations exposing White criminals.
Note: The victims race and religion is revealed but not the White offenders.
All in all, staying aware and conscious of what the media broadcasts is highly important. The media has the ability to infect our minds with poison faster than bacteria spreading. The implications, for becoming indoctrinated by the media are brutal. This is evident through the public’s violent reaction towards ethnic minorities after watching the Oscar-nominated movie American Sniper. Remember, the media only broadcasts what it is deemed as “newsworthy” and what meets the agenda. The media doesn’t release stories for the public evidently, but to make profit of the moral panics it has caused.