We live in a society where it seems to be accepted that newspapers will hold far right views, print misinformation, and scapegoat minorities. This culture of newspapers talking absolute bollocks is contributing to the racism that exists within our society. When newspapers describe children dying at sea after fleeing danger in their home countries as ‘migrants’, is it any wonder people fail to feel empathy towards them? Newspapers don’t focus on the fact that the people on board those ships are men, women and children fleeing from danger and persecution, just that they are ‘migrants’. And we have people with a public platform describing migrants as ‘cockroaches’ in one of the country’s best-selling newspapers.
There is often a debate over whether the media simply represents the views of the people. If you look at the anti-Muslim stance held by many papers, does that stance represent the views of the majority, or does the paper’s language and narrative influence the views of the people? I think our press can be quite a dangerous thing, where misinformation and hate is spread for profit. Of course, not all newspapers are like that, though many of the popular ones seem to be. Attention grabbing though misleading headlines. Statistics and facts that seem to have no bearing in reality.
And yet, many people accept news to be true. If the tabloids say something often enough and loud enough, many people accept is as fact. And now matter how many times other people try to share the truth, this falls on deaf ears. And so, there are lots of people wandering around who have very horrible beliefs, and some of these people have children.
A study of almost 6,000 secondary school children found that many of them held racist and anti-immigration views. This included anti-Muslim views, a distorted view of how many immigrants currently live in the UK, and blaming immigrants for potential future problems finding jobs. How have we gotten to a stage that people in full time education are already blaming their future unemployment on immigrants?!
The study found that over half of the participants believed that asylum seekers and immigrants were stealing our jobs. Whether they got this idea from tabloid newspapers or their idiot parents, it is terrifying. These young people will be voting in just a few year’s time. It is pretty clear from the latest election results and the popularity of UKIP that our current voters aren’t much better, but these people are out of full time education and so it is perhaps less surprising that these people have heads filled with nonsense.
I think it’s terrifying that people still in school to have a crooked view of the world. I really hope that now that the survey results have been announced, schools take a more active role in educating their students on racism, the truth about immigration and the fact that we have a right wing press.
What action do you think schools should take to tackle this problem?
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