By Pauly Denetclaw
In my first week at Generation Justice my whole perspective on mass media has changed. This organization has opened my eyes to all the inequality within mass media. I knew about the issues concerning major news outlets but I didn’t think it was this extensive.
Take for example, the current government shutdown and how major news networks are covering it. Not once did I see a family whose lives have been financially affected by the shutdown. They did however give the opinions of people walking to work but the shutdown doesn’t affect them as much. It’s more like an inconvenience to those individuals who were interviewed. However, my father works for the government and was seen as “unnecessary.” He went to work on Monday September 30 and was handed a letter that stated he would not be working for the remainder of the shutdown. He has already been furloughed this year for six days. My father is supporting two households and has two children in college. Why is this story being left out? Why don’t media outlets think this is a big deal? These are a few of the questions that plagued me as I began looking at news coverage in a critical manner.
I’m not just looking at national media but local as well. I have noticed they still suffer from inequality. In a state as diverse as New Mexico I’m astounded to see a lack of coverage by journalists who are of color. In the Albuquerque area I have met four journalists who are Native and most of them work at a Native news outlet.
This critiquing of media was taught to me at Generation Justice. This organization has encouraged me to look beyond the surface and delve deeper into how a story is being told. They taught me to look at the word choice, how a story is framed and to think about what their agendas are. Now, when I’m reading a newspaper, magazine or watching the news I ask myself these questions. Its incredible how a bit of knowledge can change your world.
I’m so happy I was accepted into this fellowship. I can’t wait to learn more, grow as a journalist and bring equality into this world.
Until next time…