Monday, November 4, 2013

Reflection - Yearbook/Publication Coverage

So I've noticed that within the movies/video clips that we see in class, usually focusing on a racial or ethnicity based issue, there is a predominance in male representation. This has led me to think about how many groups of people are left out or excluded from media coverage. Having this knowledge in the back of my mind, I had a shocking, yet not so shocking, revelation during an annual conference that I attend.

I go to the CSPA convention every fall to attend workshops for journalistic publications, such as yearbooks, newspapers, and literary magazines. Today was my 5th year attending the convention and I noticed a number of concerning things. A large amount of the students attending the convention, I'd say 90% at the least, were white. What was worse than that, however, was that the yearbook designs (photo-packages of students smiling) all featured predominantly white students. This suggested to me that not only do white students belong within the pages of a publication, but also that only white students should or would be attending this convention, so why bother advertising for any other race?

I was not the only one to notice. A friend of mine came into the room, and being black male, commented on how he was the only person of his race in the room. Sadly, even among 100 other students, he was right.

I wonder who is to blame for this. CSPA for their $42 conference fee, which is pricey for most students, but not so much for those who attend the workshops that come from private schools, or is it because of the lack of advertising to other racial and ethnic groups? We see this in magazines and advertisements around us, so could this same type of exclusion be happening earlier on, in the supposed safety in academic institutions?  What do you think?

Side note: A lot of the students that attend are also female. But the same photo-packages presented to them have mainly males within them. How does this all add up in your minds?

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