Diverse representation in the media inspires minority communities

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To increase diversity in the media, studios are hiring writers from diverse backgrounds.

Magali Castillo, Staff Writer

Mass communication is a form of media that is happening everywhere. It ranges from watching the news, listening to the radio or reading information from the internet. 

Cultural theorist Stuart Hall defines representation as, “using language to say something meaningful about, or to represent, the world meaningfully, to the people.” He worked for thirty years on the media’s role in society.

In addition, Hall had a theory on representation in which he explained that there is no representation of people or events, but a controlled and fixed meaning through the power of the leaders in charge that want to maintain a social supremacy.

The lack of representation of the Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian American and LGBTQIA+ communities as reporters, writers, editors or anchors is astonishing when the United States is home to a variety of different cultures and nationalities.

Predominantly, the only representation that is depicted in the media is of white men only that cover their stories and how the world revolves around them. Television has been around for about 100 years and in that span the lack of diversity is still represented in the media today.

For instance, the first Academy Awards ceremony was held in 1929. Only 19 awards have been awarded to Black actresses and actors out of 350 awards.

The media has caught on to the lack of diversity and are trying to implement new changes, like the new Academy Awards guidelines for films. 

Instead of a white writer writing a story of a minority, there has been an increase of hiring writers of color to create stories that represent them. 

Recently, films like Black Panther, Coco, Crazy Rich Asians and the recent Star Wars films show that representation matters. 

This is something minorities have longed for. Representation is important because the world is made up of people of different colors and shapes that need to know their voices are just as important as white voices.

When people see themselves on the television screens or the internet it serves as an inspiration for their dreams and goals. 

The CSU system recently appointed Joseph I. Castro as the new chancellor, making him the first Mexican American chancellor to be the leader of the nation’s biggest four-year public university system. This is historical because Joseph Castro understands the meaning and struggle of minorities.

Furthermore, representation matters because the entertainment and news industries have controlled the way they portray and educate the public about race, gender, sexual orientation or disability, which affects the way people view themselves mentally. 

The media has had its share of portraying negative racial stereotypes. Minorities have to work harder to make it in their professions while white people don’t face the same struggle. 

However, with the increase of breaking barriers in the media, minorities are here to stay and are finally having opportunities to show the talent and knowledge they carry within them.

 

The Cougar Chronicle The independent student news site of California