t Double Yellow's Musings: Did Race Really Matter? - Part II
The warped mind of Double Yellow craves for humor everyday. His daily dose comes from The Straits Times, The Sunday Times, Today, Channelnewsasia, etc. He also thinks that because of this preamble, this blog will never get featured in the local media. And of course, please read the Disclaimer before embarking on the journey.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Did Race Really Matter? - Part II

In an earliest post, I mentioned that our 'objective' media are unnecessarily citing the race of the subjects of their article. Well, they are at it again.

Casual use of race when reporting a murder. Why? Why? Why in the world does the race of the victim matter? Will he/she be treated differently? Why the accused be treated differently?

Please, grow up.


Blogger wingéd densetsu said...

Hmm actually I think the ang moh's media will report as "Asian" and vice versa for our media too. I think almost all the media in the world ALWAYS report the race...

7:38 PM  
Blogger doubleyellow said...

hey winged densetsu, i agree. this is not a prob wif just our local media. When powderful media begin using race to identify stuff, it will only seek to widen existing divides.

Something I hope all media (that also includes blogs :p) will realize...

11:58 PM  
Blogger FixCon said...

Maybe they are just being descriptive for the benefit of the minority or majority people who are interested to know bits and pieces of the news?? LoL Just a guess..

1:29 AM  
Blogger doubleyellow said...

hey fixcon, it could be. My concern is that such seemingly random uses of 'race' will only lead to unwanted stereotypes... something we can all avoid :)

2:50 AM  
Blogger FixCon said...

Hi again doubleyellow, I hope I'm not causing any mishappiness in this comments.

I feel that as a job of the press in Singapore, they are just providing as much details as possible, even though sometimes they might hide something from us due to "Media manipulation", the stating of race is just part of their descriptive explanation.

As for stereotyping, I dont think we can fully blame the media for it, why? Because the public masses plays an important part in it too. Stereotypes came from mass assumption. And assumption came from the masses itself. The news is just stating what is truly happening in their point of view in a descriptive way and it's really up to the masses to make assumptions. So instead of changing the media, why not educate the masses stop stereotyping so much?

err.. this is just my point of view. No offense intended.. :)

8:07 AM  
Blogger FixCon said...

err.. a typo there.. we CANT fully blame the media. Sorry :P

10:49 AM  
Blogger doubleyellow said...

hey fixcon, no unhappiness at all. glad you are voicing out your opinion, especially if its different from mine.... nothing like a good debate! :)

I agree with you that we cant fully blame the media. But I feel that the media is a powerful behemoth (not just in Singapore) which can create, modify and remove any assumptions that the masses make. The masses, I feel, are not homogenous to make common assumptions. They see/read stuff around them and make those assumptions and this is where the media comes in.

Another instance where the local media has played up the China Woman threat. While factually, the article is correct, by presenting it such supports the stereotype of the China woman.

Of course, foreign media is equally complicit in creating such stereotypes. Soon after the London bombings, the BBC supported this notion of the terrorists being British citizens of Pakistani origin - like the origin of the person mattered.

3:34 AM  
Blogger FixCon said...

Hi again doubleyellow, haha sorry, as you can see, I'm still a teenager so i need to look up the dictionary for some of the word. LoL Anyway, Yeah, I forgot to mention that when I said educate the masses, it can be through many medium, like the one which is causing all of it too - the media. If the press can constantly some sort of remind people not to make unecessary assumptions, I think it would help a great deal.

Glad to see your point of view in this :)

4:24 AM  
Blogger Jeanne said...

Hi there, I myself am involved in the media industry and although I do not speak to represent them, but like what fixon mentioned, it's mainly to give description.

I agree with what you said about the power of media.. and how it can change opinions etc. However, the body of the media itself consists of so many people and it's hard to have everyone who thinks along the same line. Some may welcome change, others adamantly against it.

"Another instance where the local media has played up the China Woman threat. While factually, the article is correct, by presenting it such supports the stereotype of the China woman."

Many people would say that there are several times journalists try to "play up" an event. Maybe. Or maybe it's an event the editor reckons the public would be more interested in. Remember the papers still seek readership. Ethics- another story altogether.

Stereotypes of the china woman is so because of the representation of their community. Stereotypes are like first impressions as well.. they tend to last. It's human nature, I don't think it has much to do with the media basically, but us humans in general.

4:37 AM  
Blogger doubleyellow said...

hey jeanne, if it is for purposes of description, then the media could have chosen his hair color or his shoe size. Why race? What purpose does it serve?

while i agree with you that the media in Singapore consists of a varied group of ppl, i think there is still a consensus on what to write and how to write in the mainstream media.

if a news media is going to play up a particular event (like the China woman threat) just to gain more readership, then the credibility of such a media is severely affected. Unless of course, it intends to be a tabloid.

i agree with you to the extent that stereotypes are sometimes created by humans. But the problem with running a story on the "China woman threat" is to support such a stereotype. Even if a person has not met a China woman in his life before, the media has already tainted the important first impression.

The "China woman threat" of course is plain wrong but not one news article helps to dispel this myth.

7:12 AM  

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