Media - Social Justice


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Media - Social Justice

  1. 1. How do media cover Social Justice? By Diana Elbasha
  2. 2. Objectives By the end of this lesson, students will… • Understand the meaning of social justice and which issues constitute “news” • Gain perspective on how social justice has evolved in recent decades • Know the most effective ways of covering sensitive social justice topics • Understand the effects of different types of media on a story
  3. 3. Social Justice Defined Social justice generally refers to the idea of creating an egalitarian society or institution that is based on the principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being. Education and Social Justice, J. Zajda, S. Majhanovich Includes topics such as poverty, discrimination, racism, injustice, civil rights, and humanitarian issues, among others.
  4. 4. Social Justice in ImagesConveying information through images is one of the most effective, emotion-arousing forms of communication. - Research has shown that emotional content is the most likely to become viral, as are “awe-inspiring” stories that force readers to view the world differently. - News-related images are more likely to be shared than humorous ones, according to research by Social Media Expert Dan Zarrella. - “Vivid” images are particularly effective because they present content in a “language” that is understood by all people, regardless of literacy, culture, etc. All brains have the same capability of interpreting images.
  5. 5. In Perspective Read this Washington Post story and view some photos depicting the 1999 Kosovo conflict. Note the differences in detail between these two features: the use of imagery through words versus imagery through photos. • Photos were successful in capturing emotion through tears, facial expressions, dead bodies, etc. • Which medium did you personally prefer?
  6. 6. ACTIVITY You are the editor of the New York Times. You must select one of these photos to accompany a front page story about the Somali famine. Click to view larger images How will you make your decision?
  7. 7. This was the Times’ actual front page. While Executive Editor Bill Keller took some heat for running this photo, he stood by the decision, calling it a “no-brainer.”
  8. 8. Images, continued Discussion: • How did you feel after viewing the Times’ slideshow? • After seeing the photos, do you feel more compelled to take action to help the Somali cause? • Where is the line for journalists between informing the public and advocating for a social issue? • Is it okay for journalists to advocate for global crises? Are there exceptions? Related content: TIME’s “100 Photos that Changed the World”
  9. 9. “The fact that people far away can see with visceral immediacy the facts of a crisis like the one now hitting the Horn of Africa is one of the most optimistic aspects of the modern world. Consciences are awakened by the camera ... [these pictures] tell the whole world what will happen across the region unless urgent international action comes immediately.” – Jonathan Jones, The Guardian “The photographs fail to show the reason why so many people have reached this state of destitution. Underneath the high visibility famine lies an age-old and sustainable way of living that has been disrupted by a modern world system, and whose ability to adapt to the cycle of drought has been severely undermined.” – Helen de Jode, The Guardian There is an ongoing ethical debate about publishing graphic images of humans in such circumstances. Is it part of covering news, or is it distasteful? Here are two opinions on publishing photos of famished Somalis.
  10. 10. Photographers aren’t the only ones using images:
  11. 11. What messages are these cartoons conveying?
  12. 12. This Pulitzer- winning image illustrated what photographer Carol Guzy called a “happy” moment in midst of conflict in Kosovo: a lost baby had been found, and was being passed over a fence to his parents. How often do you feel you get the positive side of a humanitarian conflict? In your opinion, was covering this moment necessary? Helpful to understanding the situation? Distracting? The “Happy” Side
  13. 13. photo_n_915912.html?1312292151