‘Media’ting Boundaries: How Media Divides the Society
With the advancement in technology and internet we all believe that the society has become more inclusive, accommodating differences and perspectives. A conference titled “Conversations: New Frameworks for Public Discourse” held at Northeastern University invited journalists, media executives and scholars to discuss and debate the topic of how media has helped create boundaries between people.
According to Kaufman, director of Northeastern University’s School of Journalism, the 2016 election results showed these deep boundaries that are till existent in the US society. As Welles, an assistant professor of communication studies, notes there is the danger of over-reliance on the data available. How the data was collected and other processes that permeate the data collection and dissemination often go ignored. As Heyward, the former president of CNS, points out what we need is also to understand the human stories that go behind the numerical data rather than use it as a mere source to sprinkle in our conversations as evidence. With newsrooms that have become lesser diverse over the years, it is no longer equipped to tell the human stories of US society today. Joseph Howe who is the assistant professor of journalism says in his book Whiplash, How to Survive Our Faster Future talks about how, even mathematically speaking, it is more fruitful to employ a diverse set of people to solve a problem than a narrow group.
What US needs today is a set of journalists who are ready to reach out to the people from where they are and tell their stories to the world, not letting other prejudices come in their way.
N Malavika Mohan