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The twentieth century has witnessed two important historical developments: globalization and powerful communications technology. Globalization allows people of different races, cultures, religions, and other backgrounds to interact and exchange ideas across great distances. Meanwhile, more advanced technology in communications facilitates these exchanges and helps the world come a little closer together. However, amid the shrinking global village and improved media lie many levels of prejudice. Prejudice expressed in the media, be it intentionally or subconsciously, obscures the truth and cripples efforts toward building cross-cultural understanding.

In the United States, the media is complex and far-reaching, with the most widely used sources being television, newspaper, and radio. An estimated six out of every 10 Americans use television as their primary source of information for current events. Further, a typical American watches three hours of television daily, and a typical American family has the television turned on for seven hours each day.1 Newspapers are also critical sources of information. USA Today, the nation's largest newspaper, has an average 2.2-million weekday circulation, followed by the Wall Street Journal's 1.8 million and the New York Times' 1.1 million. Newspapers are especially relevant to this discussion because in addition to providing information, they also express opinions in their editorial pages. Finally, radio stations have greatly impacted society as a form of media, not as old as newspapers but more deeply rooted than television and used by a great variety of people. Over 13,500 radio stations are currently registered in the United States.2

First, the media has played a significant role in the spread of prejudice against people in other parts of the world. Even though the United States boasts the most advanced television communications system in the world, programs are often plagued with biased reports. The American media is accused of committing such injustices after the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001. While the nation was angered at the terrorist attack, many immediately envisioned the Arab countries as a separate, isolated, and oppressive world. NEC's news anchor in Saudi Arabia even criticized a woman for her traditional Muslim clothing by relating it to an unjust revocation of women's



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