The racialized geographies of news consumption and production: contaminated memories and racialized silences

Mahtani, Minelle
June 2009
GeoJournal;Jun2009, Vol. 74 Issue 3, p257
Academic Journal
With its longstanding history and interest in issues of landscape and representation, geographers are ideally positioned to analyze the relationship between media, identity and place in media. What is missing, however, is a grounded understanding of the dynamics of the locally produced politics of representation and, in particular, how these representations are perceived by different members of the audience. This paper briefly explores the nexus of race, news production and news consumption through an analysis of interviews with racialized journalists (journalists who identified as members of minority racial groups) and a focus group conducted with self-identified Iranian Canadians. The paper looks specifically at two themes that emerged in the empirical material: the contamination of memory and the creation of colonized memory media-spaces for some participants in the focus group, and the nature of racialized silences in the newsroom. I suggest that geographies of news might well be understood as a complex, interactive process of the production of meaning between both producer and consumer, where news content, ethics, roles and values are negotiated through multiple social contexts.


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