Media and Race

I just participated in my first "tweet up" as a media expert on a discussion about Race and Media. An Honors College graduate of The University of Houston in Radio & Television, I don't recall coursework or classes on this very important topic.
When I was growing up, I wanted to be on the news. I was fascinated with the women on television who always appeared poised and polished and full of intellect. Problem was I didn't see many, if any in the early years, of news reporters who looked like me. In fact, in my senior year memory book I wrote that I aspired to be like Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters or Paula Zahn. I hadn't met the Melanie Lawson's, Mary Benton's, Minerva Perez' or Soledad O'Brien's of the world yet!
Getting pregnant my sophomore year threw a monkey wrench in my plans. Even though I interned in Houston and worked briefly as a news producer after graduation, my obligation to parenthood was more important than working in media. I had to pursue other employment and goals.
Race relations in the U.S. are at the worst I have ever seen. Media outlets are catering to public bias and prejudice and seem to be more opinion based than evidence based. It is a sad state of journalism when you can actually watch a news outlet that will mirror your own beliefs and racist views opposed to simply reporting the news.
Why is this important? We need to stay in the know. We need to be informed and aware of current events.Leave the speculation and rhetoric to the talk shows. It is naive to think that the media does not shape our world views and our perception of ourselves. I always say "You can't be what you can't see." Keep putting negative stereotypes on the news and see what happens to a generation. Slant the news and create larger divides in the community.
The media MUST be accountable and responsible for honest reporting with intergrity. Diversifying the news room is a great start. Being a well informed viewer is an even better finish.

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