Homeless People In The Media Analysis

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Depiction of Homeless People in the Media John Smith March 2, 2009 The first media text that I studied is an article from CTV, a Canadian television and internet company. This article speaks about a poll conducted by several media sources on a sample of Vancouver’s residents, which asked them why they believe individuals become homeless. The writer’s position in this text is likely intended to be an unbiased one, and I believe the intended audience are urban middle and upper class citizens. It goes on to say that the poll found that the highest concentration of answers were that people become homeless because of drug and alcohol addictions as well as mental health problems. When I looked deeper at the article, I realized…show more content…
They accomplish this by using the poll in which the biggest cause of the homeless problem is said to be drug addiction, closely followed by mental health problems. I believe that by making it appear as if the majority of homeless people are mentally unstable and addicted to drugs, the media will make the average Joe feel like they have little in common with the homeless, and will create a barrier between us and them. To support the idea that the media skews what the true public opinions are on homeless people, I will refer to an article in the American Journal of Community Psychology in which the authors state that, “while media attention may respond to public interest in a subject, often the relationship between the media and public opinion works in the other direction or is entirely absent” (Tompsett et al. 2006). So in other words, the media can dress up the public opinions that they gather to put forward whatever message they want to its readers, making the public believe that maybe…show more content…
I found that it could be possible that the media is trying to enforce the idea that the everyday person should be viewed as having little or no similarities to a homeless person, and that the reason they are homeless is because of individual issues that make them different from everyone else. As well, I found evidence that the media may be trying to create an image of the homeless problem as an epidemic, and they use advertisements with images of the homeless as miserable and hopeless to get people to feel empathetic towards the
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