Portfolio Review

Portfolio Review

Portfolio Review

First Reading


The second week’s reading titled “Some viewers may find the following images disturbing: Visual Representations of Refugee death at Border Crossings” by Lenette and Natasa looks at public emotional reactions, media ethics, and policymaking on the visual representation of stories. The authors’ analyze the effect of visual representation of photographs on public opinion based on the published images of Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian refugee boy drawn while crossing the Mediterranean Sea with his family. The underneath view of the reading looks into the meaning of photographs in media. Thus, the authors’ storyline tries to analyze if photographs are realistic as their outward look or rather a connoted representation of the truth.

The authors expose the controversial interpretation of images of the boy’s body lying lifeless on the Turkish shore. The reading reports some media broadcasters were concerned about the sensibility of the image being shown to the public (Lenette and Natasa, 2018). The circumstance raised controversies on the plight of refugee particularly children as well as medias’ responsibility in unsecured image representation. With increasing precaution on death imagery reporting, some media personalities still boldly expose such traumatizing pictures. At the helm of the irresponsible photo, reporting is social media that is accused of irresponsible and uncontrolled death reporting.

According to the article, media representation must be within the policy framework as a control mechanism for irresponsible image representations (Lenette, and Natasa, 2018). The media coverage of the Gulf war of 1990 exhibited more need for media policies. Further policymaking support showed up during “CNN Effect.” The reading shows how images of suffering cause human vulnerability in western audiences. Media ethics helps understand how precarious images distort public views thereby creating an ethical dilemma. However, a new view of image representation has erupted in the course of policy changes. The authors argue that visual representation of refugees has become a tool of mobilizing policies and humanitarian help (Lenette, and Natasa, 2018). Thus, the reading depicts refugees’ visual representation as policy-driven intention except in cases in which public opinion and politics cannot be swayed because the visuals are not widely represented.


The second week’s reading gives a deeper understanding of the visual representation of pictures in media and communication. The first approach portrays photographs as a literal representation of what is captured. The situation makes a visual representation of information communicative in the effect that issues are reported in terms of images (Lenette, 2016). The definition complies with responsible media reporting with no emotional effect and empathy on the viewers. The second use of pictures is perspectival with an elusive intention to mobile policy reforms and humanitarian support for existing circumstances. The reading refers to the mobilization of pictures as a tool of policymaking through public influence. Therefore, there is a lot of media concept covered in the reading.

The reading exposes the influence of media, which can be detrimental if used for the wrong reason. Expose of images of death refugees haunts many affected victims and a verse in the society. The same position applies with mishandling of media reports in hands of authoritarians’ regimes (Weidmann and Geelmuyden, 2015.). In addition, the reading helps reflect on the representation of images and their responsive effect on viewers. In addition, there is an in-depth illustration of the use of photographs as a representation of the truth. The argument differs from the open meaning of photographs. For instance, the picture of the boy’s body can be used to mobilize refugees’ policies changes and humanitarian actions in rescue children crossing dangerous seas. Thus, the reading is an exemplary reflection of the week‘s topic.


Lenette, C and Natasa, M. 2018. “‘Some viewers may find the following images disturbing’: Visual representations of refugee deaths at border crossings.” Crime, media, and culture vol. 14, no. 1. pp. 111-120.

Lenette, C. 2016. Writing with Light: An Iconographic-Iconologic Approach to Refugee Photography. Forum: Qualitative Social Research. ISSN 1438-5627.

Weidmann NB and Geelmuyden, ER. 2015. Empowering Activists or Autocrats? The Internet in Authoritarian Regime. Journal of Peace Research. Jpr. Sage.

Second Reading


The study “Gender, Race, and Media Representation” by Bonnie and Julia explores the position of media in reporting gender and race-related issues. The authors argue that media representation has an immense effect on the consumer-oriented society that looks up to their coverage of stories (Dow and Wood, 2006). The stories covered are on experimental life circumstances with regard to perspectival identities and way of life among people. The authors argue that the basis of gender and race differences is highlighted by the media in reference to their color, sex, and areas of origin. However, they make reference to the difference in sex as cultural understanding rather than a biological variation. Thus, the reading claims that any representation of a society by the media determines the perceived view outside the circles of the reported society.

The reading further highlights the feminist criticism on the struggle to end race and sexual oppression. The authors use feminism approach to unearth the structural composition of power relations in the society. The study acknowledges media preference in white feminism study over other social categories of the society (Dow and Wood, 2006). As a result, black women are neglected since much focus is given to white feminism protection. The study reports criticism of mainstream media as perpetrators of feminism business in which African Americans are not given enough attention and coverage. As such, the authors portray the media as a tool for promoting race and gender biases by running impartial stories.


From the reading, I learned the media’s role in promoting racialized masculinities. Media focus began with a feminist approach but has grown in recent time to include masculinist approach as a means of filling the gender-based gap (Jessie, 2012). The move enlightens students’ understanding of Critical Race Theory and the media’s presentation of black men and black masculinities. For instance, there is much to learn from media representation of the Asian and Native American men. Majority of the Asian men have remained limited to non-motion media, thereby exemplifying the media representation biases.

There is a considerable reality in the reading’s representation of the media’s role in society. As a tool of fairness, media is tasked with the responsibility of giving equal representation to all members of the society regardless of their race and gender. On the contrary, media is viewed as undermining the social standards of equity. The treading reflects the real representation of media and its impacts caused by double standards. The study is important in understanding the role and relationship of media, race, and gender. In addition, it gives an opportunity to experiment the class reading by using media as a tool of supporting the positive growth in the society. For instance, undermining minority groups based on race and gender is an authoritarian move in the society (Gerschewski & Dukalskis, 2018). The position gives power to the wrong people while it denies opportunity to the deserving. Thus, the study is important in understanding the influential role of the society.


Jessie, D. 2012. Race and Racism in Internet Studies: A Review and Critique. New Media and Society. City University of New York, USA. Sage.

Dow, BJ and Wood, JT. 2006. Gender, Race, and Media Representation: Handbook of Gender and Communications. SAGE Publications.

Gerschewski, J and Dukalskis, A. 2018. How the Internet can Reinforce Authoritarian Regimes: The Case of North Korea. Georgetown Journal of International Affairs.

Third Reading


Roosvall and Matthew create a descriptive relational study on the role of media in championing for climatic justice. In their article titled “Media and the Geographies of Climate Justice: Indigenous People, Nature and the Geopolitics of Climate Change,” the authors appeal for climatic justice in mainstream media reporting. The theme of the reading is to show how climatic justice or injustice in connection with indigenous people is reported in mainstream media. The authors developed a theoretical framework to explain the cause of climate justice and the cause of the difference. Thus, the reading introduces an analytical study on the role of media on climate justice and the implication of the indigenous people.

The first section of the reading analyses a theoretical framework that focuses on understanding climate justice across the globe. The theory considers the difference in climatic conditions across the world as a considerable contributing factor behind the verse difference in media reporting on climate change. In addition, the theory looks at indigenous people’s role in diverse places in terms of climate change activism and accessibility to media (Roosvall and Tegelberg, 2015). The second part of the reading draws a connection between the theoretical framework and perceived persons’ view on climate change activism. To authenticate their theory, the authors review scales of geography and justice, the difference in nature, involvement of media, and protectionist alteration in conservational change from environmental activism to climatic activism. Thus, the reading incorporates historical participation of media, citizens, and activism as levels of change.


The reading’s presentation of the role of media gives an authentic involvement in championing for justice for climate change. The authors’ theoretical frameworks explore the necessity of media’s role in climate protection and the existing disparity in that role. The authors believe that appropriate media attention is not given to adverse areas and indigenous people who deserve to protect their climatic nature. In comparison to existing cases, the reading recommends activism and media attention be given to climatic protection to enlighten on the conditions of climate effect (Weidmann and Geelmuyden, 2015). In addition, the article gives an exemplary role of media that is important in understanding media and communication. Championing for climate justice for all people is a desirable social responsibility that the mainstream media should undertake. As much as the indigenous people act to champion climate justice, they need the input of media to popularize their fight. Therefore, the reading’s perspective is necessary for understanding the relationship between media and climate change and social responsibility.


Roosvall, A. and Tegelberg, M. 2015. “Media and the geographies of climate justice: Indigenous peoples, nature and the geopolitics of climate change.” Triple C: Communication, Capitalism & Critique. Open Access Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society vol. 13, no. pp. 39-54.

Weidmann, N. and Geelmuyden, E., R. 2015. Empowering Activists or Autocrats? The Internet in Authoritarian Regime. Journal of Peace Research. Jpr. Sage.


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