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Media and Poverty

Media play a significant role in shaping public understanding of and distributing dominant views about social problems—such as economic, racial, and gender inequalities, as well as violence, immigration, drug addiction, and ethnic discrimination—and poverty. Poverty is often defined as a severe deprivation of the most basic needs (e.g., food, safe drinking water, shelter) and of opportunities for acceptable quality of life and personal development. Together with other influential institutions (e.g., education, government, religion, community, family), mass media shape perceptions and attitudes toward poverty and the people experiencing it. They do so through variety of contents and representation strategies, including news frames, human stories, visual images, symbols, myths, metaphors, and discourses, used by media professionals to depict poverty and those experiencing it. Mainstream media are also ...

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