A Different World: Native American Children's Perceptions of Race and Class in the Media, 1999

May 01, 1999

Download file: different_world_native_americans_1999.pdf

In 1998, Children Now initiated a groundbreaking inquiry into children’s perceptions of race and class in the media, focusing on the images presented by news and entertainment.

Through a series of focus groups and a national poll, we asked questions such as: Do you see yourself in the media? How do you see people of color portrayed on television? How does what you see make you feel about yourself and others? Young people told us that it is important for all kids to see people like themselves, that news portrays African Americans and Latinos more negatively than others, and that the media can send children powerful, positive messages about race.

Expanding this inquiry in 1999, Children Now conducted focus groups with Native American youth. With an Advisory Board of Native Americans involved in academia, advocacy, entertainment, and news, Children Now designed groups with a mix of demographics. From the reservations of New Mexico to the downtown schools of urban Seattle, we asked Native youth: What are your perceptions of how race and class are portrayed in the media?

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