New media have radically altered our understanding of racism, so that an issue that has too often been assumed to belong to the past has been thrust into the contemporary mainstream. In light of the clear impact of both traditional and new media on Brexit in the UK and the Trump Presidency in the US, it is imperative for students of media and public discourse to examine the role played by the media in the generation, circulation and contestation of racist ideas. In Racism and Media, Gavan Titley: • Explains why racism is such a complex and contested concept • Provides a set of theoretical and analytical tools with which to interrogate the empirical world of racism and media • Demonstrates methods’ application through a wide range of case studies, taking in examples from the UK, US, Europe and Australia • Examines the rise and impact of online and social media racism • Invites readers to confront tensions in their own experiences of racism and media This book is an essential companion for students of media, communications, sociology and cultural studies.
Chapter 1: Racism, everywhere and nowhere: the debatability of racism
In 2015 the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported that Laura Huhtasaari, an MP for the right-wing nationalist True Finns Party, was a member of a closed Facebook group ‘The racist background of rapists that hide in bushes’. Under a banner montage of photos of unnamed men of what appear to be Somali and North African heritage, the group description outlines how it is dedicated to proving how ‘Muslim immigration’ had increased instances of rape in Finland and other northern European countries. As well as detailing the endless timeline entreaties to ‘defend our culture’, the newspaper report drew attention to several instances of overt ...