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Racism in Mainstream Media

Reporting, Values, Public Commentary


Introduction:
The Settler Nation state Canada is founded on the principles of systemic
institutional racism targeting Indigenous Peoples inhabiting land the Settler state
desires to possess and exploit for its sole benefit. This is how the Nation state
was founded in 1867 and how the Indigenous Peoples where marginalized,
isolated and subjugated to make way for the civilization of the land.
Today, mainstream media knowingly plays an active role in continuing the
marginalization through the way it reports on Indigenous issues. I say knowingly
because there is ample information available on Indigenous stereotypes and the
mechanics of perpetuation that render any excuses by media as meaningless and
disingenuous.
Reporting and editing of stories with Indigenous references or on Indigenous
issues are frequently deficient in ways that foster the perpetuation of harmful
stereotypes. Again there is no excuse for this. There are plenty of knowledgeable
Indigenous People with credentials in both worlds that could provide useful skills
to publishers to ensure there is true balance and honest representation of
Indigenous worldviews in the stories.
Mainstream media also contributes to the perpetuation of harmful stereotypes
through social media sites like Facebook pages and comment sections on media
websites. The guidelines and practices vary widely from publisher to publisher.
The most harmful sites are those that allow the posting of anonymous comments
with minimal or unskilled moderation. The situation has grown so bad and
expensive to manage that PostMedia/Sun has switched to requiring Facebook
credentials before individuals can make postings. CBC in December 2015 placed
a moratorium on open comments on Indigenous story content.
The comment forums are a hot bed of overt and covert anti-Indigenous racism.
Publishers regardless their disclaimers, have an obligation to not promote hatred
or at a minimum expose the identity of those engaging in hate speech.
The following presentation will examine the mechanics of how stories are written
and how these current methods encourage the promotion of stereotypes. I will
show this through the comments that get posted as a direct consequence of the
positioning and tone of the stories. I will also deconstruct the comments to show

how they are racists and why so a better understanding is achieved into how
words are the weapons of hatred.

Presented by: The Coalition against Racism in Mainstream Media