’Killing’ the true story of First Nations: The Ethics of Constructing a Culture Apart
Journal of Mass Media Ethics
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Cases taken from the coverage of Canadian/Ipperwash and American/Makah disputes over tribal land and sea claims point up that subtle but entrenched racist assumptions, conclusions, and myths of native culture persist despite attempts by newsrooms to be more culturally sensitive. Traditional journalism standards of practice and ethical approaches must be expanded to consider more of the subtleties of media's problematic representations of aboriginal peoples—as a culture, a culture apart, and a cultural construct. The ethics of continental philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, the ritual model of communication, and frameworks and methodologies used by feminist and cultural studies scholars are applied to show that journalism's current standards, which are rooted in Enlightenment ethics and embrace a transmission view of communication, are inadequate to the challenge of reporting on diversity in an ethnically complex world.