ERIC Number: ED222414
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Historians and the Media: Revising the Societal Curriculum of Ethnicity.
Cortes, Carlos E.
Federation Reports: Federation of Public Programs in the Humanities, v4 n1 Jan-Feb 1981
Because the media have a powerful and pervasive influence on the way all people perceive ethnic groups, historians need to become directly involved in media presentations. Historians have four general roles when working with the media: as researchers/writers, as media interviewees and commentators, as historical experts for media presentations, and as media creators. In the role of media creator the historian contributes his knowledge and understanding of the past, provides a larger context within which to frame the specific event being portrayed, and creates effective metaphors of the ethnic experience. However, historians, by the nature of their training, must be aware of their lack of media literacy, of the viewing audience (an audience which differs greatly from a reading audience), and of their own fascination with historical detail and insistence on total factual accuracy. Above all, historians must realize that audiences view productions with preconceived notions, particularly those concerning ethnicity. History is best served when the historian/media producer begins with his own vision of the experience he wishes to portray and then determines which elements of that experience communicates its essence. (Author/KC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A