Iris Martyn’s article below concerns mainstream media bias and the powerful role social media can play in combatting it. Tangential dissident voices often go unheard (or are silenced) when they oppose perceived authority or mainstream societal beliefs and majority mores.
Martyn gives the example of Suffragettes who were frequently accused of “having ‘magnificently succeeded … in their intention of making themselves a nuisance’, a dismissive claim that covers up the threat” and downplays both the validity of the cause and the character of those behind it.
According to cultural theorist Stuart Hall, the media obtain their information from the primary definers of social reality in authoritative positions and amplify those opinions irrespective of the foundation or veracity of those opinions.
Dissenting voices are all too frequently met with a wall of blinkered apathy or openly dismissed or opposed by mainstream media.
As a result valid complaints and concerns are either unreported, underreported or reported as invalid or misguided hyperbole.
By Iris Martyn, Form 6 •
In 1903, outspoken suffragettes “defaced” thousands of one-penny coins by stamping “Votes for Women” onto them and releasing them back into circulation. In fact, ever since complex human social structures came into existence, those who have suffered under their dividing, categorising, and often somewhat arbitrary rules have sought to express themselves in ways that bring to light their humanity and the harsh reality of oppressive conditions.
Often, established media such as print journalism, only enforces the values of a biased society in which the privileged are accustomed to the predominance of their views.
This occurs at the expense of dissident voices. To continue the earlier example, “Suffragettes on the War Path” were frequently accused of having “magnificently succeeded … in their intention of making themselves a nuisance”, a dismissive claim that covers up the threat felt by male politicians at the thought…
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