Media influences the way people think and behave. What media says about anyone/thing becomes the norm. It influences simple things such as what people talk about on their lunch breaks to more complex belief systems. Media frames depict people from geographic areas in stereotypical ways; this manipulates how people feel about the different areas. Media acts as an opinion leader. One region that media consumers have gained a negative opinion on because of media portrayal is the Midwest. Midwest states include Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan. Midwesterners reported media portrays them as people with strong moral values, however, also as hillbilliesunintelligent and politically unaware. A quantitative survey designed to determine the accuracy of this theory is analyzed in this paper. The issue of a negative Midwestern reputation from media portrayal is important because non-Midwesterners have gained incorrect and discriminatory viewpoints of Midwesterners.
[...] A teacher's editorial in The Herald displayed concern with media portrayal of the school she teaches in influencing how the country feels about her students. She was furious that media shows her school in an inaccurate light. Just as Southerners are sometimes portrayed as slow, Midwesterners feel they are shown as ignorant hicks. Alarge portion of the Midwest is farmland. That does not equate with tractors and “ain't”. Scholarly journals also discuss the issue of media's portrayal of the Midwest as inaccurate and unfounded. [...]
[...] Due to the media's constant inflow of stories portraying Midwesterners as politically unaware some individuals have taken on this prejudice and inaccurate view. III. Methodology The method used for this study was a survey. The survey was designed according to ethical standards. All respondents were guaranteed anonymity and participated on a volunteer basis. Participants were Boston University undergraduate and graduate students between the ages of 17-24. Before conducting the survey on the sample frame, a group of five student participants were given the survey. [...]
[...] Non-Midwesterners gain their opinions from media without being aware of it. Hopefully this paper will encourage future studies further examining media influence on opinions of people from certain geographic regions due to media influence. we were all designed to be the same person it would be quite a boring world” (Anmuth 2004). People should not be judged on the basis of where they live. Bibliography Anmuth, Mike. “Media Has Ugly Effects.” Massachusetts Daily Collegian via Wire (2004). Cook, Timothy. “Press Secretaries and Media Strategies in the House of Representatives: Deciding Whom to Pursue.” American Journal of Political Science 32 (1988): 1047-69. [...]
[...] He offered that the isolation of Midwesterners by others in different areas of the country comes from the media depiction of their supposed ignorance and stupidity. Indeed, political reporting in media is used to maintain the depiction of the Midwest as politically unaware, according to Cook in 1988. An analysis of responses to a questionnaire of 124 democratic press secretaries revealed that most press secretaries are highly influential on news coverage in Cook's “Press Secretaries and Media Strategies in the House of Representatives: Deciding Whom to Pursue.” Media gains connections with members of the House of Representatives. [...]
[...] Urban Midwesterners also felt that overall Midwesterners have average morality, intelligence, and political awareness, but media portrayal of Midwesterners is neutral or slightly positive. Foreign students had the most negative opinions about levels of morality, intelligence, and political awareness of Midwesterners, although three of the six knew only one person from the Midwest. The other three knew only three Midwesterners. All students from foreign countries answered “somewhat disagree” with the statement “Midwesterners are moral”. Four of them were neutral about the statement “Midwesterners are intelligent”. [...]
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