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Reshaping representation of race relations in the age of new media: A case study of Chapeltown in Leeds, UK

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This study examines the role and the impact of new media in the Chapeltown area of Leeds in the North of England. Drawing on in-depth interviews and personal observations, it traces incredible illustrations of mutual cooperation among people of different faiths and ethnicities who come together to celebrate Carnival and Vaisakhi and enjoy food during Ramadan in the local mosques. Also, it finds that despite the differences among communities of various cultural and religious backgrounds, the takeaway lesson here in Chapeltown is that communities can be united for a common goal. For instance, people can struggle side-by-side to overcome social ills and challenge negative press by effectively using new media technologies.

This study argues that most sections of the British press need to review their attitude towards ethnic minorities that is to change the reporting approach and practice investigative journalism.

Review of the history of Chapeltown’s early migrants, the British Jews, suggests that high levels of education and becoming part of the mainstream literacy circles in both universities and mainstream media can improve the representation of ethnic minorities. Furthermore, unless members of the ethnic minorities become part of the mainstream media it will be difficult for them to improve their media representation.
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Keywords: Chapeltown; Leeds; community cohesion; ethnic minorities; new media; race relations; representation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The University of Huddersfield

Publication date: April 1, 2019

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  • The emergence of satellite TV, the internet and digital technology have dramatically changed the way audiences receive information and interact with the media. The sudden success of Al-Jazeera and other Arab broadcasters have altered the way the Arab world narrates itself and reports news from the region to the rest of the world. The journal aims to lead the debate about these emerging rapid changes in media and society in Arab and Muslim parts of the world.
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