Analysis Of Hegemonic Power Of The Media

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A hashtag emerged after the death of Michael Brown who was shot by a police in a suburb of St Louis, Missouri in 2014. News reports used graduation images of Brown in early reports however, the image was then changed to a picture of him in a basketball jersey gesturing a hand sign. #iftheygunnedmedown was started by young African Americans who challenged the representation of how the media portrayed them. Many felt that the portrayal of Michael was racist and stereotypical. This issue swept the internet by storm and started to get people to talking about how the media represented Michael. Using the encoding and decoding theory, I will demonstrate how the media used their hegemonic power to create an ideology of the Michael as an African American, how the community fought back with oppositional decoding and how interactive media made the movement so successful. The media was an institution that had hegemonic power to create and distribute dominant meanings onto the mainstream media (Louw & Carah, 2015). Hegemonic power links directly to the ideology which aims to provide a…show more content…
They had represented him as a stereotypical black American male which was a ‘thug’ or a gang member. This created a unique oppositional decoding by the African American community. In response to the message, the community created a movement with the hashtag, #iftheygunnedmedown. The campaign had questioned the ideology created by the media and criticised them for racial profiling. Social media was a key factor in the movement as they were able to create their own message and circulate it even though they had no hegemonic power. The movement caught attention and the community managed to get their voices heard. Therefore I believe that the movement has been successful in criticising the media and changing the dominant hegemonic view through oppositional

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