Haiti and the Media: How the media plays a vital role in the misrepresentation of Haiti
4th year undergraduate Global Studies class: Haiti: Local Realities, Global Influences
Final Paper: 40% of final grade
8 page argumentative paper (research based)
My topic: how media coverage of the earthquake in Haiti and responses to the disaster reveal much about the ways in which Haiti is (mis)represented in the eyes of the international community.
The research paper will deal with how the media plays a prominent role in the misrepresentation of Haiti in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake. Media outlets rotate stories of “poor”, “injured”, and “violent” Haitians in a densely populated, aid-dependent nation. Media outlets play a large role in shaping public perception, often painting an exaggerated and distorted picture by reproducing narratives and stereotypes that date back to slave revolution of the colonial past through the process of news media “framing”. Framing is a process in which mass media sources select and emphasize some aspects of a perceived reality in such a way as to influence the audience’s interpretation of the issue even without altering actual facts. By emphasizing specific aspects of reality, framing simultaneously de-emphasizes other aspects and shapes the way individuals understand and respond to events.
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