By Malory Green
After reading the abstract of our team paper, I have a greater understanding of where our research will be heading. I am actually looking forward to searching broadcast news archives in order to provide the future readers with a greater understanding of the media slants that unfortunately circled this event.
The abstract also raises some exceptional points about framing and the media agenda. The example about Hurricane Katrina is an excellent examples of this. One media outlet covers it as a faux pas on the part of the people who lived in New Orleans who were more horrendously affected than they should have been based on their refusal to leave the city during a natural disaster that they knew would be catastrophic while another paints the governement as a seperated entity that hid behind their desks in Washington while thousands of people suffered from lack of assistance. My heart breaks at both of these representations of the event because I don’t believe it was an either/or situation. I believe that journalists have a responsibility to present both sides, particularly in a case such as this where both sides have merit.
The picture on the left communicates people who were seemingly left out to dry (literally and figuratively) and the utter devastation that surrounded the situation while the right shows military personnel taking a very active role and makes one wonder why the people were still there in the first place while some people (perhaps the elderly person above) simply could not leave.
There are many other examples within the abstract that would also be great examples of the different ways that media frame events, particularly in regard to race and gender stereotypes but I thought this to be one of the most powerful.
Dr. Moody instructed me to voice how I was feeling about the project in regard to the paper and I feel that in the interest of integrity I must voice a few concerns. The abstract is well written and certainly conveys the point but possesses a clear feminist slant. This could possibly be unavoiable in an article with this type of objective but I thought it was worth mentioning. Furthermore, the discussion about Bennett and Edelman might need futher elaboration when the actual article is written. Absolutely, their point is true about most American news outlets but there are world news organizations that are so unbiased at times that it is impossible to discern their personal feelings on the matter. Another spot that sparked concern was the citation of Byerly’s study in 1999 about feminist presence in newsrooms sparking the shift in rape coverage. It’s an excellent point but I think it is definitely in need of elaboration in the actual article as it seems to suggest that one must be a feminist in order to be compassionate in rape cases. This is not necessarily true. The last was the mob mentality section’s highlighting of fraternities and athletes. Absolutely, it is a prevalent part of news today and an excellent point but I think that other groups of men should be highlighted as well (i.e. gangs).
All in all, I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity to work on a paper that is going to be submitted for publication, particularly one that is such a touchy subject that needs to be brought out into the open. I think the research for this study will be instrumental in practicing for future research.
- Privacy, Rape and the Media (butheory.wordpress.com)
- ‘Redefining Rape,’ by Estelle Freedman (sfgate.com)
- My Complicated Relationship With Feminism (thoughtcatalog.com)