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#6185: Re: 6154: Journalistic stories on Haiti (fwd)

From: qret6394 <pharris@ou.edu>

Come on!I don't buy this "byte" as it represents a very naive perspective and sounds to
me like journalism 101 inculcation.
Whether the writer wants to accept it or not the long arm of the media is a highly
politicized apparatus that disseminates information in a way biased towards the postition
of the dominant hegemony. Moreover, the language and slant that writers employ is
influenced by that bias. Perhaps at the individual level this may not seem intentional
because biases usually opertate out of awareness, they are almost second nature, or
invisible. As far as Haiti is concerned the Westernized slant has been far less than
accurate, and in far too many cases outright denigrating. These distorted representations
are like a viscious cycle...one feeds the next..so much so that we barely recognize the
truth when we see it. We only see what we learn to see. Most people do not take time to
stop and excavate the facts disengaged from the subtle ( and many times blatant) yet
powerful ways in which Haiti has been, and is colored/framed in the media. Most  don't
have the time, or don't care because they believe that what happens in Haiti does not
impact upon their lives in a direct way. We prefer to let the press set the news agenda (
one that will sell and generate profit), give us some semblance of the facts ( to CYA)
and then "put it in perspective". That's the luxury (?) of living in America and under an
insidious illusion...not so for Haiti.
Patti K. Harris
University of Oklahoma