African-American Male Victims of Police Brutality Discussion

5.0 Chapter 5: DISCUSSION, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1 Introduction

            This section of the research paper presents a culmination of the study by presenting an evaluation of the results presented in the preceding Chapter 4 that outlined the results of the study. The discussion section of the research report presents an interpretation of the results by making sense of the data presented in the results section of the report. Further, the portion of the report also includes the conclusion part where the report’s findings are presented in summary format with regards to the development of an understanding of the implications of the research findings as well. Ultimately, the research paper ends with the presentation of recommendations arising from the evaluation of the findings of the report.

5.2 Discussion

The study set out to answer five fundamental research questions as pertains to the evaluation of the presentation of African-American males in media. Further, the evaluation of similarities and differences that exist in the representation of African American men in traditional and modern media platforms forms a central point of focus in the completion of the research report. In the same regard, the study seeks to evaluate underlying reasons for the state of affairs as pertains to police brutality and the role of media personnel in the portrayal of African American men. Equally, the research report also seeks to present solutions to the problem that is racism led police brutality in the United States. At its core, an evaluation of police brutality statistics in the form of case studies presented in the fourth Chapter of the research report outlines notable examples or samples of where incidences of police brutality were most prominent. The implications of the challenges that abound owing to police brutality are as well presented with an evaluation of both cause and effect relationship for a better understanding of the foundations of the problem. More importantly, the report aims to present recommendations necessary for consideration by law enforcement, politicians, and African-American men, civil rights groups, and the general public at large as regards the issue of police brutality in the United States. Moreover, the recommendations are tailored towards addressing the current state of unease between law enforcement that is majority white and casualties of police brutality cases that are widely drawn from the African American populous.

5.3 Understanding the Implication of Findings

            To better understand what the findings mean, it is imperative to interpret the data in the form presented in the previous chapter from a holistic view. Hence, a combination of the results should provide a clear outlook at the trends as regards the media and its representation of African American men based on the sampled cases. Towards that end, the table below is a summary of the findings of the research report;

Media Findings Presentation of African American

Freddie Gray

Tamir Rice

Eric Garner

Michael Brown

Walter Scott

  

+ve

-ve 

+ve

-ve 

+ve

-ve

+ve

-ve

+ve

-ve

 Modern Media

Facebook

5

0

3

1

4

1

2

1

3

0

Twitter

4

2

6

1

2

1

2

1

6

1

YouTube

6

3

4

1

2

0

2

4

5

3

Totals New media

 

15

5

13

3

8

2

6

6

14

4

Old Media

Newspapers

4

1

3

2

3

2

0

1

3

0

Television

2

1

1

1

3

0

1

3

1

0

Totals Old media

 

6

2

4

3

6

2

1

4

4

0

TOTALS GENERAL

 

21

7

17

6

14

4

7

10

18

4

Table 6: Summary of findings on portrayals of African Men in Media (Source: Author).

Total positives Old media

= 21

6

 

4

 

6

 

1

 

4

 

Total negatives Old Media

= 11

 

2

 

3

 

2

 

4

 

0

Table 7: Summary of findings portrayal of African American men in Old Media (Source: Author).

Total positives New media

= 56

15

 

13

 

8

 

6

 

14

 

Total negatives New Media

= 20

 

5

 

3

 

2

 

6

 

4

Table 8: summary of findings on portrayal of African American men in New Media (Source: Author).

Based on the evaluation of the information presented by the histogram above, it is likely to seem that new media has the most of both positive and negative portrayals of African American men. However, it is also worth noting that more platforms of social media exist than old media; hence, the disparity in a huge margin of numbers may be due to the fact that new media records instances in terms of individuals while old media records instances in terms of a media house such as a broadcaster or a newspaper publication. Notably, each of the media has influence over a broad category of audience. For instance, new media influences a multiplicity of users in social media sites while old media is accessed by the public in general whether newspaper publications or television news. The pie charts below are a more accurate interpretation and representation of the percentage positive and negative portrayal of African Americans as represented in the bar graph above.

            An evaluation of the pie charts above indicate that Old Media is more likely to portray African Americans in negative stereotypes when reporting on incidences that involve police confrontations with African American men. In the same regard, the pie charts reveal that both traditional and modern media have higher records of positive portrayals of African-American men than negative portrayals. However, the results also clearly indicate that New Media is more likely to project a positive image of African Americans as compared to Old Media.

5.4 Responses to Research Questions

            The study set out to answer fundamental research questions as mentioned severally in the research report, under this section, a discussion on specific answers for each of the research questions is presented. What is more, the provision of responses to the study questions also serve to align with the obligations of the study goals as set out in Chapter one of the research report. The research questions and their responses are as presented as under;

5.4.1 Study Question One

What are the differences between new and traditional forms of media in news reporting pertaining to the conduct and characteristics of African American males involved in instances of police brutality?

The response to this first research question can be drawn from the graphical representations presented earlier in the form of totals of positive and negative portrayals as per the depiction of both Old and New Media forms presented as pie charts. The pie charts clearly shoo that New Media differs from Conventional Media in their portrayal of African American men. The findings indicate that African American men are likely to be branded aggressive, criminal, and a danger to law enforcement in news reports published in newspapers and broadcast on television. On the contrary, African American men are more likely to be portrayed positively in New Media platforms notably on social media that includes Facebook and Twitter. As such, the study finds that the difference between New and Old Media as regards the portrayal of African American men is that the former is more likely to portray black men in positive light as opposed to the latter.

            Deen Freelon in conjunction with Charlton Mcilwain and Meredith Clark in the book ‘Beyond the Hashtag’ discuss fundamentally crucial aspects of New Media and why people seek to express themselves using New Media platforms such as social media and channels such as YouTube. The authors find that New Media’s advantage lies in its unedited form. As such, people can freely express themselves without any restrictions. Contrary to the norm in Conventional Media such as television and Newspapers that are edited and censored, New Media platforms are avenues where people can freely engage and share their thoughts about issues that matter to them (Freelon, Mcilwain, & Clark, 2016). Further, New Media is not subject to Framing Theory attributes presented earlier in Chapter one of the report. To that extent, people can accurately express themselves without fear of contradiction. What is more, personal generated information provides New Media platforms with the attribute of authenticity. To that extent, people can use such platforms to express themselves freely regardless of the interpretations that others may take from it. In a nutshell, New Media provides freedom of expression and self-determination that is widely lacking in Traditional Media platforms.