New Media portrays African Americans in positive light more than Old Media

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5.5 Conclusion

            The study yields five holistic findings that inform the accomplishment of the objectives of the study. First, that New Media portrays African Americans in positive light more than Old Media. However, both New and Old Media record more instances of positive reporting on African American males. Nonetheless, Old Media has a higher tendency of reporting negatively about African American men. Secondly, the implications of the negative portrayals of African Americans by the media has had the effect of increasing police brutality and use of force against African American male suspects of crime. The far reaching implications of negative perceptions of African Americans has been that increased patrols by law enforcement in predominantly African American neighbourhoods has led to high incarceration rates in such neighbourhoods. Hence, with record high number of males with criminal records, African American men are locked out of various legitimate opportunities of etching a decent living. Consequently, young men of Black American descent largely fall back to crime as their only means for survival. The composition of Traditional Media ownership and management is predominantly composed of White Americans who set the agenda on news reporting. The result has been that lack of African American people in leadership positions of such Media houses has led to gross misrepresentation of African American interests and by extension, the misrepresentation of African American men at large. On the other hand, the lack of censorship and editing in many New Media platforms has allowed for free expression of opinion and ideology which accounts for much of the positive representation of African American men in New Media platforms. Ultimately, changing the perception of the American public as regards to the negative stereotypes about African American men must be an all-inclusive approach that brings together media stakeholders and African Americans dedicated to reform. Changing negative perceptions must take the form of positive portrayal of African Americans coupled by efforts to eradicate crime rates in African American neighbourhoods by African American men abandoning crime for legitimate means of etching a living.

5.6 Recommendations

First, addressing police brutality goes beyond the issues of racial discrimination. Hence, police brutality is an issue that the law enforcement in the United States should make a complete overhaul in regards to training of officers on matters of handling suspects. As such, addressing the challenge that is police brutality will require drastic measures such as enforcing into law the requirement that police officers should have to wear body cams. In the wake of revelations presented in the form of cases of police brutality that were covered in this research report, witness video recordings of the unfolding events played a crucial role in revealing misconduct in the police services. In that respect, it is the recommendation of this report, that police body cams be introduced as part of legislation that governs the conduct of police officers while executing their mandate. Based on the revelations, police officers have the tendency of treating suspects with dignity when cameras are rolling. Hence, the use of body cams will have the implication of reducing the trend of police brutality in the United States.

Secondly, the research findings also reveal that as much as police brutality against African Americans has taken a racist agenda, the rates of crime among African American populations exceed the rates of crimes say in Caucasian neighbourhoods. Hence, the mind-set of the public and especially African Americans should be moved from dependence on illegal means of survival to ensure that the people have alternative means of earning a living. Moreover, changing perceptions of African Americans as pertains to negative portrayals will also require that civil rights groups, government, legislature, and interested parties including the media work with communities where crime rates are high to assist people in shunning a life of crime and adopt positive transformation. In that respect, this research report recommends that African Americans must take an active role in using every media platform available to them to portray African Americans positively.

 

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