Media-Based Strategies to Reduce Racial Stereotypes Activated by News Stories

This study focuses on the role of media in facilitating and inhibiting the accessibility of stereotypes primed by race-related news stories. Specifically, it examines experimentally the effects of two strategies for reducing stereotype accessibility: an audience-centered approach that explicitly instructs audiences to be critical media consumers, a goal of media literacy training; and a message-centered approach using stereotype- disconfirming, counter-stereotypical news stories. Participants viewed either a literacy or control video before reading stereotypical or counter-stereotypical news stories about African Americans or Asian Indians. Implicit stereotypes were measured using response latencies to hostile and benevolent stereotypical words in a lexical decision task. Results suggest that a combination of audience-centered and message-centered approaches may reduce racial stereotypes activated by news stories.