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Mass Media Victims Analysis

Decent Essays
What we know and what we think we may know about victims is greatly influenced by what we see on television, on the internet and in many other forms of media. This representation although sometimes may be misleading it helps shape our outlooks and understandings of victims and the assumption we as society make about them. Media has always been seen as an influential tool that can manipulate society’s opinion and perceptions of a victim. In the public’s mind the term ‘victim’ is seen as a person who has become powerless or submissive due to the result of crime, whether they are injured, killed or involved in events or actions of misfortune in which they are seen as some kind of victim. The increasing visibility of victims within mass media due…show more content…
Dr Elizabeth Yardley hit out at the BBC saying “it followed the "ideal victimhood" phenomenon, which says people are more sympathetic to the deaths of young, white women.” (Yardley,2015) Yardley is arguing the show has gone with a white female because it is what is considered the norm and is what the public will respond to, what is called ‘white girl syndrome’. As it is argued “our national ideal of who is vulnerable - and who holds victim status - are those who are white and female." (McKelvey,2013) Undoubtable suggesting that our perception of victimhood is partly a media creation. (McKelvey,2013) the breakdown in media victim coverage does not represent reality suggesting “We have a sort of racial hierarchy,"(McIlwain,2013). This was evident in the case of Stephen Lawrence who struggled to get media coverage because of the colour of his skin and his background. According to a 2010 academic study, roughly 80% of the news coverage about missing children is devoted to victims who are not black, while only 20% is given to children who are black (Min and Feaster, 2010). There is no question that victimhood is a media creation and so is the ‘typical image’ of a victim it is the main source of information, we are manipulated into believing a pretty white women is what a typical victim will look like as media thinks society will respond to it, showing how media is bias and concentrates on personal characteristics before deciding whether something is media
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