Blog 4: The Minor(ity) Fallacy
Blog 4: NewsThe Minor(ity) FallacyBy Karan Abrol
The way we ask questions is far more important than the answers to those questions. I’m brought back to one of my favorite books, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Douglas Adams’ characters spend several decades and five hilarious novels attempting to find, not the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything, but the question. Because what we ask and the way we ask certain things defines what we get in response.
So to anyone trying to answer the question “Is the quality of news improved by the presence of women and minority reporters”, I ask instead- Do white men enhance the quality of news? Are we asking this question about minorities because we want to inculcate these demographics (who at this point must outnumber white males- we have women too) into our patriarchal society? Or do we see it as a question we can safely reply to with a ‘yes of course’ and move on, our souls at peace, our morals and white guilt no longer in turmoil. We call the news biased and corrupt against us- everyone does. No one I’m aware of would ever make the statement “The media supports my views and discusses the issues I care about”. And no one ever will.
We want minorities in the news. But all we’ve accomplished is the media conglomerates forcing blacks, foreigners and women into their newsrooms once in a blue moon and then returning to their cushy guilt free existences.
This video shows the trouble the black journalists who actually ARE in the media face on a daily basis. Minorities may be in the arena of news- but they can’t speak their minds. Rush Limbaugh and Mike Savage consistently play out their hateful, angry, violent rhetoric on a national broadcast. Do you know of any black, mexican or women figures with that much power when it comes to extremist views? No- they’d be shot down before they made it to the national level for sure. We can put black people in the news- we just cant put black opinions in the spotlight. Bad for viewership, bad for advertisers. Angry minorities are “extremist aggressors”, “terrorists”, “criminals” or “hateful immigrants”. Angry white men? Oh they’re standing up for american values. And they get support.
I digress from my point and the prompt, but I think news organizations are doing the best they can right now. If white men are hiring, then white men will be hired. If minorities are hired, they’ll be censored for saying anything a white man wouldn’t. And it could be better, but it could also be worse. It is somewhat of a lost cause, at least right now. Not because of all the evidence I have in the media today. Not because of the Daily Show video that so clearly opens the issue to a wider problem in the world of journalism. I can tell you we are not going to see much progress because of the question in the prompt- Does having women and minority sources improve the quality of news? No. not right now. Because we have to ask. And because it would make no difference. Should we inform readers when they are reading writings by minorities? It makes no difference. Even if the issue is closer to a minority divide, they wont say anything a white man wouldnt say.