Media narratives in times of turmoil

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Annual Meeting of the World Institute for Research and Publication - Law
June 4-6, 2010

Read the full paper here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1526867

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Media narratives in times of turmoil

  1. 1. Media Narratives in Times of Turmoil: Depictions of Minorities in Canada Post 9/11<br />Omar Ha-Redeye, J.D. Candidate, University of Western Ontario<br />Daniel Simard, J.D./M.E.S. Candidate Osgoode Hall<br />
  2. 2. Propaganda is neutrally defined as a systematic form of purposeful persuasion that attempts to influence the emotions, attitudes, opinions, and actions of specified target audiences for ideological, political or commercial purposes through the controlled transmission of one-sided messages (which may or may not be factual) via mass and direct media channels. <br />2<br />
  3. 3. Intro<br />“Propaganda is neutrally defined as a systematic form of purposeful persuasion that attempts to influence the emotions, attitudes, opinions, and actions of specified target audiences for ideological, political or commercial purposes through the controlled transmission of one-sided messages (which may or may not be factual) via mass and direct media channels.” - Richard Alan Nelson<br />Background<br />Overview of Historic Use<br />Defining a New Hate Group<br />Progression of Racism in Psychological Theory<br />The Link Between Media and Aversive Racism<br />Canadian Legislation and Laws<br />Human Rights Commissions and Freedom of Expression<br />How Stereotypes can Affect Policy<br />Potential Solutions<br />3<br />
  4. 4. From Sumerian Art to Modern Communications<br />4<br />
  5. 5. Nazi Propaganda<br />5<br />
  6. 6. The Eternal Jew<br />Messages:<br />Large birth rates<br />Spread from Middle-East through Europe<br />Undermine European values<br />Assimilate to try and fit in and infiltrate<br />Economically dominate and take over<br />-> 5th column arguments<br />6<br />
  7. 7. Anti-Japanese Sentiment<br />Feelings of hatred among population helped justify civil rights violations and use of nuclear weapons<br />War Measures Act, 1942<br />7<br />
  8. 8. Shift to the Middle-East and Persia<br />1979 Iranian Hostage Crisis<br />Greater caricatures of Iranians and Arabs<br />Fanatics, backwards<br />Hate crimes against Iranian-Americans<br />8<br />
  9. 9. Gulf War<br />Propaganda scandal<br />Kuwaiti company hiring American PR firm<br />Testimony before Congress over incubators<br />Heavily influenced vote in Congress to go to war<br />9<br />
  10. 10. Edward Said on Orientalism<br />Moslems and Arabs seen as either oil suppliers or potential terrorists<br />Very little detail entered the awareness of even reporters<br />Series of crude, essentialized caricatures of the Islamic world <br />presented in such a way as to make that world vulnerable to military aggression<br />10<br />
  11. 11. Challenges with Identifying Modern Propaganda<br />Shift from implicit to explicit racism<br />Much more difficult to tease apart, not as readily observable<br />11<br />
  12. 12. But They’re Just Cartoons?<br />The Mohammed Cartoons<br />Western Standard<br />Rod A. Martin:<br />humour can create discriminatory work environment by creating normative standards <br />humour can be ambiguous; intentions behind these particular cartoons are uncertain<br />Process of psychological racism<br />12<br />
  13. 13. Racism in Psychological Theory<br />old-fashion racists<br />Segregation and open discrimination <br />aversive racism theory<br />the “turban effect”<br />“shooter bias” paradigm<br />13<br />
  14. 14. Racialized Discourse Normalized<br />John Fiske: <br />discourse of racism advances interests of whites through words, images, and practices<br />Deeply embedded without thought<br />Democratic racism (Francis & Tator)<br />dissonance of liberal states<br />Use of racializeddiscourse<br />Discourse of denial<br />Discourse of political correctness<br />The discourse of blame the victim, or white victimization<br />The discourse of tolerance<br />14<br />
  15. 15. A New Paradigm of Intolerance<br />Parallels between 9/11 and Pearl Harbour<br />Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) <br />Maclean’s magazine from 2005-2007<br />Rise in hate crimes (2001)<br />But note inadequacy of hate-based crimes reporting<br />TheBouchard-Taylor Commission<br />distortions between facts and perceptions; media major contributor<br />Underrepresentation in public office<br />15<br />
  16. 16. 16<br />
  17. 17. Canadian Laws and Criminal Sanctions<br />Multiculturalism Act (1988) <br />recognizes diversity of Canadians as fundamental characteristic of Canadian society<br />Charter of Rights and Freedoms <br />S. (1) limitations, and s. 15 equality<br />Sections 718.2, 318, 319 of Canada’s Criminal Code <br />17<br />
  18. 18. Civil Remedies and Human Rights Codes<br />Lack of civil remedy for slander directed to groups<br />Libel and Slander Act R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER L.12<br />Human Rights Codes (Provincial, Federal)<br />differences between the Ontario Human Rights Code and the British Columbia Human Rights Code R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19<br />18<br />
  19. 19. Use of Social Science and Free Speech<br />Speech is highly valued in Canada, except hate speech; but avoid criminalization<br />R. v. Keegstra, [1990] 3 S.C.R. 697 <br />Social science evidence may be used<br />Irwin Toy Ltd. v. Quebec (Attorney General), [1989] 1 S.C.R. 927 <br />19<br />
  20. 20. How Stereotypes can Affect Policy<br />perception of an inevitable clash of civilizations<br />race-based policies and profiling<br />Prejudice in the courtroom <br />Justice Antonin Scalia <br />Use of torture in “24”<br />Article 2 of the UN Convention Against Torture<br />20<br />
  21. 21. Potential Solutions<br />Greater education needed<br />Media often viewed as fact<br />Mandatory regulatory body governing media professionals<br />Ontario press council<br />Ombudsman <br />Act as a liason with the audience to address minority concerns <br />21<br />
  22. 22. Conclusions<br />Responsibility for addressing media discrimination lies on the legislature<br />Ensure equal footing in a democratic society<br />Rebutting stereotypes is a gradual process<br />Requires breaking the silence among academics and officials<br />22<br />

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