Diversity and the Media: Student Voices  

What is the future of the media and its attempts to reach a diverse audience? We can better understand the upcoming generation’s issues concerning diversity and the media with this collection of quotes from articles by Communication students at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. These issues include race, gender identification, intellectual disabilities, healthcare, cultural differences, stereotyping and discrimination of women, as well as microaggressions.
Note that some of the quotes include links to a full article. 

“Although Bridgeton creators may have had good intentions by selecting a colorblind cast to incorporate more diverse actors on screen, the use of colorblind casting ultimately does more harm than good. That is because the show does not take the actor’s race into account in their writing, and ultimately places people of color in a role that does not represent their culture or heritage at all.”
~ Mackenzie Bradford  (CLICK to see full article)

“The stress of worrying about your child’s health is already more than enough to bear, so families should not have to also worry that they cannot afford the care that they need, or that they could face graver illness than others based on racial discrimination. What must be done in order to start aiding this issue is a reconsideration of the privatization of health care.”
~ Eliana Teel (CLICK to see full article)

“Gender stereotyping takes place all around us, everyday, and we often overlook it or do not even realize it is taking place. It specifically takes place within the advertising industry and social media platforms due to it being extremely detailed to target specific audiences and groups. There are multiple cultural differences in the gender norms that we have familiarized ourselves with as a direct effect of specific advertising. “
~ Hannah Hall (CLICK to see full article)

The push for diversity encompasses people of all races, abilities, ethnicities, and genders, including people with intellectual disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Disorder. As the push to create media that tells the stories of people of varying backgrounds and life experiences continues and production companies purposefully try to create inclusive content, it is important that these stories are told with grace, truth, and reality.”
~ Vanessa Willis (CLICK to see full article)

People with disabilities should not be limited because society deems them as helpless. They are more than capable of achieving much more in their lifetime and their conditions do not define them.”
~ Serretta Malaikham 

Women and others can also support women by educating others on how women’s equality is still lacking in places such as wage gap and representation, and by helping them learn what they can do to help fight this issue. Women are beyond capable, it’s society that must change.”
~ Sarah Poole 

The NFL and its owners have continued to push the envelope that they are about equality by creating rules to force minorities to be a part of the interview process but the league faces a pending lawsuit from one of its former coaches. No matter which way you look at it, the numbers back that the NFL continues to have a problem with diversity in its head coaching positions …”
~ Zac Gafford

“The women’s USA soccer team securing this victory and receiving equal pay is a big win for them and women in general, but there is still a long way to go for all women who are involved in sports and the workforce.”
~ Hannah Dalton

Women deserve equal representation to men in film and media and they have a long way to go to make up for the lost time and lack of respectful representation. Filmmakers should hire more women who are not just “eye candy”, but rather give women real representation in a respectful and powerful manner.”
~ John Daniels

“Microaggressions can be something so small or even just one sentence within a paragraph of positive things, but the impact it can have on people of color can be something they carry with them throughout their lives. Being educated and intentional about the way we interact with people of color is so important and one of the easiest ways to make sure you are always being respectful of others.”
~ McKenzie Streat, Neely Campany

“Some may assume that diversity is produced through media in a physical sense, but there is more depth to an audience than race, gender identity, physical ability, and other physical signs that relate to. While all these dimensions, and more, are critical in defining an inclusive and diverse society, there are many aspects to an individual that remain undiscovered in the media. Addiction, of all mediums, has dominated such a large population of America …”
~  McKenna Pegrim

I think a change needs to be made in how different races are reflected through the media lenses. Every age groups in society feel a different way about other races in society, the age brackets are the backbone and key to their perspective. This is due to how they are receiving information on such event that have impacts on minorities.”
~  Regina Baker

“People say the media creates division in America. False facts or biased views are presented to the world everyday from these organizations. So I guess you could say the hate is warranted. But after reading NBC’s article, I wondered if biases stem from a lack of diversity. Do minorities get less coverage because there are less minorities in the news world itself? I think this is a justified conclusion. “
~ Thea Marshall

“I know people that have been completely disowned because they have come out as gay, or bisexual, or transgender. It is sometimes hard to face that the expectations you had for your son or daughter, aren’t who they really are. These are stories you hear on social media almost every day and I have watched numerous TikToks of parents …”
~ Keylan Ridley

“While living here in the United States has definitely been challenging and an adjustment in many ways, I feel as if I have found a common ground. I have learned that living in two cultures and having knowledge of both is not something to be taken for granted and it is in fact a rewarding experience.
Alexis Angell

There are multiple cultural differences in the gender norms that we have familiarized ourselves with as a direct effect of specific advertising. Women are extremely sexualized whereas males are often not. You are more successful if you can fit this unrealistic standard of beauty that has been set for decades before us and continues to be promoted in advertisements and other media platforms. Young females are swallowed by this culture of women being sexualized and only being seen by flaunting it. “
~  Rebecca Bogdan 


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