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The most critical aspects of media performance with regards to race and ethnicity are issues that relate to the quality of its representation of the lives of people of color Accuracy and diversity are aspects of media performance that will allow for a careful evaluation of how it represents people of color Evaluating media performance is important because of the utilization and reliance on the mass media for much of societys reflexive monitoring and evaluation of reality The performance of mass media is important in regards to race and ethnicity because the mass media are the primary source of indirect or mediated experiences that reinforce racial attitudes and beliefs that are integrated into cognitive structures Gandy 1998 Thus mass media can be viewed as places where reality is constructed and racism may be reproduced Accuracy Accuracy is an important aspect of media performance to consider in assessing the quality of its representation of the lives of people of color because of its assumed consequences of developing self-image and personal identity and its reflection of social reality that informs social policy Gandy 1998 Shan and Thorton 1994 state that previous research of minority groups has shown that minorities are sometimes depicted as being violent primitive and politically unsophisticated Furthermore they postulate that certain types of behaviors among minorities may be understood by whites as pathological or deviant because of how the news media represent them This representation is inaccurate because it ignores historical context and structural explanations for social trends In addition Shan and Thorton state that newsmagazines reproduce racism by perpetuating a racial hierarchy carried out by mainly whites and consumed by mainly whites that positioned blacks at the bottom Entman 1990 found that local news stimulated the production of modern racism Violent crimes committed by blacks was the largest category of local news Of the eight times in which blacks were subjects of lead stories six described violent crimes In addition blacks
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