Media Images And Representations (Contemporary Native by C Richard King

By C Richard King

This publication explores media assurance of local americans: in print and tv journalism, in motion pictures and tv, in local American media retailers, and on the net. It additionally examines using local american citizens as mascots.

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W. Griffith, for instance, made Pueblo Legend (1912), Massacre (1912), and the influential Battle at Elderbrush Gulch (1914), which in retrospect 17 18 Media Images and Representations looks like a template for later stories of Indian/white conflict on the frontier. Finally, especially after WWI, epic melodramas appeared that dramatized the plight of the American Indian. The Vanishing American (1925) is a classic expression of this sympathetic zeal, a film that critiques the treatment of indigenous people in the reservation system, while lamenting their impending doom.

Even though the connection between Indians and nature is cast in positive terms, it is important to note that such Films and Television images are stereotypes that limit the humanity of indigenous peoples to a small set of attributes, qualities, and capacities, and should be seen as just as debilitating as ideas that appear negative and harmful. Films and television programs with Indian themes also have offered interpretations of whites and white society. Not surprisingly stories told by whites to a largely white audience have validated Euro-American values and actions, casting whites as the central focus and animating force.

A Newsweek article, for instance, described the 1961 American Indian Conference in Chicago derisively: It was the first time since Hiawatha was knee-high to a tall papoose that braves grown gray and come from every tribe . . to sit around a mystical council fire. 23 Not long after this, journalism shifted its perspective, likely influenced by the civil rights movement, the push for a Great Society, and later rising protests against the Vietnam War. Indeed, not more than five years later, reporters had turned a sympathetic eye toward Indian Country, underscoring the 41 42 Media Images and Representations social ills plaguing it, while reviving the noble savage in their rendering of indigenous peoples and traditions.

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