Race and Ethnicity Related Controversies in the News

September11Race and Ethnicity Related Controversies in the News Any given society relies on newspapers as one of its major source of information and basically sets the tone for the rest of the media on how it should conduct its coverage (Jennifer, 2003). Given this fact, it important to question the way information is presented to the public by journalists. In their endeavor to provide the public with information, journalists reproduce world views that are culturally embedded in a bid to distinguish the significant and the valid (Mikal, 2010).

The technique of organization used by journalist to frame their stories is the similar as the one used by everyone daily to create a conversation be it controversial or interesting. Journalists frame information either positively or negatively. They have the capability of making people question the race of the character in discussion thereby either drawing sympathy or criticism from the targeted audience for the purpose for which the journalist intended (Mia, 2006).

This review will be looking at race and ethnicity and how it has been in the news as regards to racial profiling. In the news world, racial profiling has been used to mean the stopping of people in public places for the purpose of inspecting them to find out their race and ethnicity for statistical reasons. In post September 11 news, the term ‘Flying while Arabs’ has been common in journalists’ vocabulary. It is used to imply that law enforcers have been unfairly targeting Arabs without a good cause (Saud 2003).

The Depart of Justice defines racial profiling as a police-initiated action relying on race or ethnicity besides the behavior of any individual who is suspected of engaging in criminal activity. Amnesty international, on the other hand, defines racial profiling as the use of race, ethnicity, and religion, to target individuals or groups by law enforcement officers because of lack of trustworthy information linking the aforementioned groups to crime or a scheme (Leonard 2002).

Racial profiling was a social injustice according to many articles before the September 11 attack. However, others portrayed it as a sensible technique used by law enforcement officers (David, 2013). Those who defended the practice argued that it was a case of police officers using scarce resources in fighting crime by using the law of probability (Nadra ,2011). An interesting dichotomy came up after the September 11 attack with journalist adding victims of racial profiling to their coverage and the shift of transformation in belief by the public.

In 2004, Michelle Makin wrote an article in the USA today stating that it justifiable to do racial profiling based on race, religion or even nationality in a scenario where by the security of the United States is threatened. She went on to state that in situation whereby the USA and Islamic extremist are at war, it makes sense to target local Muslim communities for intelligence gathering. A similar view was supported by Charles Krauthammer who in 2001 wrote in ‘Times’ magazine that to prevent terrorists from travelling in the US, then racial profiling at the airport was a better option.

On October 17 2001, a renowned African American columnist expressed relief in his column Omaha world-Herald stating that his ethnic group was no longer in the spotlight as there was now a new public enemy number one namely Muhammad and Osama. In conclusion it can be said that while news remains to be the number source of information, it is also true that the way it is presented remains to be a vital as it can be used to create or demystify sociological theories in a society. Reference Mia N. (2006). Racial Profiling in the Black and Mainstream Media Before and After September 11 .

The University of Texas at Austin. Available online < http://www. academia. edu/1535675/Racial_Profiling_in_the_Black_and_Mainstream_Media_Pre_and_Post_September_11_Doctoral_Dissertation> Nadra K. (2011). Improving Media Coverage of Racial profiling. Available online Mikal M. (2010). Media black face “racial Profiling” in news reporting. Available online < http://www. peopleofcolororganize. com/analysis/opinion/media-blackface-racial-profiling-news-reporting/> Jennifer D. (2003). The perils of profiling for the media. Available online < http://www. apa. org/monitor/jan03/perils. aspx>

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