The Media's Distorted Image of the World

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Media – what does it bring us?

In our everyday lives, people are exposed to all kinds of media. Many people around the world watch movies, read cartoons and glance at the television. Although they may not realize it, they are under the influence of the images that they see. In fact, these sources may make people have negative assumptions about Middle East. Every so often, there are stereotypical judgments and comments in the media. Exaggerated Hollywood action movies, cartoons and opinionated news emphasize the negative side of Middle East, which indirectly compels audiences to believe that the combinations of images may even be true.

In Hollywood movies, there are stereotypes of Middle Eastern people being killers and terrorists. These stereotypes are generalizations regarding an individual or a group of people. They can be cultural or political judgments of certain groups. For every culture, there is at least one stereotype. People make selective, judgmental statements of the things they see and experience. Usually, they are first impressions; and may be offensive. The most common stereotypes are those that include the word ‘always’ or ‘never’. The statements with such words are definitely not true. Among all the stereotypes that have been made, there are many about the Middle East. Indeed, I believe that the 9/11 incidents led the media to get the idea of using Arabs as the villains. In movies, Middle Eastern actors have guns and are often the threatening characters. In fact, Jack G.Shaheen, a professor of mass communications has written books regarding the stereotypes mentioned in Hollywood action movies. He has analyzed many of Hollywood action movies and pointed out the stereotypes in the movies. For example, the movi...

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...he events (Arab stereotypes and American Educators). If they find a problem involving an Arab or Muslim or even people from the Middle East, they take it naturally. It is most likely that they will accept the fact that it is normal for the Middle Eastern people to commit crime.

The media is the main reason for the wrong perception of the people in the Middle East as killers, terrorists and villains. Through various forms, the media provide the information on which people construct stereotypes of these they don’t know directly. Often they are not true and based on the actions of a few Arabs or Middle Easterners. In fact, because many people have been exposed to powerful media images, they are bound to believe the impression these images create. In conclusion, the combinations of movies, cartoons and news tilt the audiences’ way of thinking to the negative side.
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