Media projection of Arabs

American Media

The American media is controlled by people who sympathize with Israel and because of this, the Arab-Israeli conflict has been blown all out of proportions. How does the Middle East conflict affect Arab Americans? Traditionally, most Arabs like to maintain close family ties with their relatives and friends who are back in the home country. They also like to help them and visit them occasionally or sponsor and encourage immigrants from their countries.  News coverage, including wire stories and headlines, are usually not balanced, accurate, detailed or fair. Reporters and editors must work to understand the issues and present a non-biased view of Arab Americans in their reports and news.

This will undermine many negative perceptions that the Americans have about Arabs who are American citizens and Arabs in general. The concepts are given by the media that Arabs are bombers, belly dancers and billionaires must be effectively dispelled by those with influence by not exploiting the Arab stereotype and featuring articles and shows on TV showing the true essence of Arab Americans specifically and Arabs generally.

Stereotyping

Stereotyping takes place because it is part of the human condition which takes mental shortcuts for simplifying information. This causes difficulties with those who are stereotyped when it is assumed that people who belong to a particular group which can be racial, ethnic, gender or religious etc are all the same and it is possible to understand by categorizing them in some simple manner. Stereotypes are perpetuated because of repetition. By persistently repeating the same images of a specific group of people we think that we know all that there is to know about them. Since most Americans have never been to the Middle East nor have any contacts with Arab Americans or even Arabs then it has become quite easy to form unqualified opinions because of repeatedly seeing the same images that Arabs are uncivilized, violent and abhor freedom.

Media Projection of Arabs

It is just that to be fair, people must also see Arabs in other contexts such as fathers, mothers, friends, neighbors, doctors, engineers, social workers, government officials, artists who have the qualities and failings of all other people, then this stereotyped image may be reversed. Stereotyping Arabs is like watching Portrayals of some white people in the media who are serial murderers. If one story shows them as serial killers, this does not mean that all white people are serial killers. Arabs should be viewed in the same manner as other people as heroes’ family men or everyday regular people because one serial killer does not portray all white people.

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