Wednesday, November 18, 2015

"I can attest to the idea that we do not trust someone else to tell our stories."

The author is a professor at the University of Missouri. Recent events there are summarized adequately at Wikipedia: 2015 University of Missouri protests.

Mislán's article caught my attention because of her digression about journalism and "white media." It's something our local Jeffersonville newspaper might be interested in examining.

At Missouri, 'right now, we are facing the backlash', a commentary by Cristina Mislán (PRI's The World)

 ... First, let’s understand that the First Amendment does not only cover journalists. Both journalists and the students demonstrating against the institution had a right to that public space. The student activists, who have been vulnerable since they first planted their feet on campus, attempted to create a safe space so that they could manage how they would tell their own stories. They simply wanted respect and safety, two rights that they have not received on campus ...

 ... Since my scholarship directly relates to media activism and social movements as they pertain to race, gender and class, we need some context about the mistrust communities of color have of journalists. The reality is that many communities of color do not trust the mainstream media. Historically, marginalized voices have sought to create their media due to the consistent inaccurate portrayals of their communities and issues. The mainstream media, sometimes perceived as the “white media” by some, is known to produce stereotypical representations that continue to reinforce the idea that brown and black individuals are angry and violent.

As someone whose father has often told me that the media lie, I can attest to the idea that we do not trust someone else to tell our stories.

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