Perceptiveness of UFS students towards racial messages in newspapers: a pilot study
Snyman, Carina F.
Breytenbach, H. J.
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The South African media was dissected by the Human Rights Commission (HRC) in 1998, following complaints that certain media were allegedly guilty of racism and creating racial stereotypes. However, the process of the Human Rights Commission's inquiry received much criticism from media institutions, on the grounds that the HRC omitted the interpretation of the mass media receiver within this particular communication process. This article tries to fill this void, albeit it in a modest way, by investigating (through structured questionnaires) how students at the University of the Free State (UFS) perceive certain identified newspaper items, which the HRC itself labelled racist. The results indicated that the students did not perceive the media as racist, but that their perceptiveness of racial messages was influenced by their cultural backgrounds.