UCLA and NHMC Release Report: 'Quantifying Hate Speech on Talk Radio'
A UCLA team of researchers have developed a replicable methodology to quantify hate speech in commercial broadcasting - i.e., speech that expresses prejudice against ethnic, racial, religious, and/or sexual minorities.
In a groundbreaking pilot study conducted by the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center (CSRC) in partnership with the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), the researchers documented language that may be constitutive of hate speech in thirty- to forty-minute segments from three politically conservative talk radio programs: The Lou Dobbs Show: Mr. Independent (syndicated by the United Stations Radio Networks), broadcast July 31, 2008; The Savage Nation (produced at KFMB 760 AM and syndicated by Talk Radio Network), broadcast July 24, 2008; and The John & Ken Show (KFI AM 640, Los Angeles), broadcast July 30, 2008. A full copy of the report can be downloaded here.
Using a new methodology that promises to advance understanding of the nature and prevalence of hate speech in commercial media, the research team found a significant incidence of speech that incorporates targeted statements against foreign nationals and members of racial, ethnic, and religious minorities. In addition to targeted statements, the study measured unsubstantiated claims, divisive language, and indexical terms (code words) related to political nativism.
"Based on the evidence we uncovered, the programs reveal a distinct and recurring rhetorical pattern for targeting specific vulnerable groups," said Chon Noriega, center director and UCLA professor of cinema and media studies and a NALIP founding board member. "Through this rhetorical pattern, vulnerable groups were defined as antithetical to core American values, which were attributed by the hosts to themselves, their audience, and the nation."
Noriega and Javier Iribarren, MSW-Psy.D, the center's assistant director, chose to examine conservative talk radio because research has shown it accounts for 91 percent of total weekday talk radio programming. In addition, radio has the greatest penetration of any media outlet (print, broadcast, or digital), reaching 90 percent of Americans each week and the news-talk format is the predominant radio format in terms of dedicated stations nationwide (over 1,700).
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has defined hate speech as either "words that threaten to incite 'imminent unlawful action,' which may be criminalized without violating the First Amendment" or "speech that creates a climate of hate or prejudice, which may in turn foster the commission of hate crimes."
Even with a limited sample, a qualitative content analysis revealed several distinct features of speech among the talk radio programs that qualified as hate speech under the NTIA definition. The findings also raise useful questions for future studies on hate speech in the media.
Among the study's findings:
- Across the three program segments, researchers identified 148 statements targeting a vulnerable group or their supporters. Seventy-nine percent of these instances (117) targeted vulnerable groups, and 21 percent (31) targeted their supporters.
- Across the three program segments, researchers identified 33 instances of a 'call for action' against a vulnerable group. Of the 33 calls for action, most focused on Latinos and immigration.
- Averaged on a per-program basis, Latinos (both citizen and undocumented) represented 91 percent (43 of 47, including those in public office) of the targeted vulnerable groups on The Lou Dobbs Show, 43 percent (15 of 35) on The Savage Nation, and 43 percent (15 of 35) on The John & Ken Show.
- Of 114 fact-based claims combined, 37 percent (42 of 114) were unsubstantiated, with 11 proven false, 18 found to be unverifiable, and 13 found to be distorted.
- There were 20 instances of indexical terms (code words) to identify certain groups as "other" to the nation. Terms such as illegal alien, gangbanger, killers, anarchists, calamity, and domestic terrorism indexed Latinos, undocumented immigrants, and immigrant rights advocates, thereby associating these groups with crime, terror, and a foreign enemy.
In addition to providing a new methodology to quantify hate speech in commercial talk radio, the study calls attention the impact of on-air content on the Latino population, as well as highlights the issue of codes of professional conduct for journalists. Moreover, this study may generate questions about content, production, and distribution control and how that control affects the representation of vulnerable groups.
The study was supported in part by a grant from the Social Science Research Council's Necessary Knowledge for a Democratic Public Sphere program, with funds provided by the Ford Foundation. Additional support was provided by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.
Call for Submissions: The MacArthur Foundation Documentary Film Grants
The MacArthur Foundation's Media, Culture, and Special Initiatives program is accepting proposals for documentary film projects between November 1, 2011 to December 2, 2011.
The program seeks to fund documentary projects that address the significant social challenges of our time or explore important but under-reported topics. Domestic and international topics are welcome, and preference will be given to projects that align with one of MacArthur's grantmaking areas. Support will be provided primarily for production and post-production activities, and to experienced filmmakers based in the U.S. with a track record of completing feature-length films that have been broadcast nationally and internationally.
Award: Up to $200,000 ($8.5 million available in 2011 through this program)
Deadline: December 2, 2011
Visit the MacArthur Foundation's website for details.
Indie Filmmakers Storm the Beach at American Film Market
By Michael Rose for The Huffington Post
Take heart all ye hopeful, dreaming toilers in the fields of feature film production. Hearing a no from a studio doesn't mean you're dead in the water. Even George Clooney is told no. But when Warner Bros. took a pass on his latest film, The Ides of March, Clooney refused to give up. Instead of jumping off a bridge or the dock at his home on Lake Como, he sauntered down to the annual American Film Market (AFM) and started to pitch his project to an endless succession of buyers from around the world.
Within a short time he and his writing partner had cobbled together $12.5-million in presales from international distributors which was enough to pay for his film.
Clooney's is only one of the success stories that keep people coming back to the Loews Santa Monica hotel every year for the AFM. This nine-day event attracts attendees from over 35 countries who have brought over 415 films to screen and numerous other projects in various stages of development to this year's market. They hope to entice some of the 8,000-plus buyers, distributors, exhibitors, financiers, sales agents and DVD companies to take their projects to the next level. The AFM was once the home of B grade movies designed solely for the Asian and South American markets. But today, it's attracting a range of films including "Best Picture" Academy Award winners that come here to test the waters and move their projects forward.
Much of the sales action takes place in the hotel suites that are booked by companies and used for a continuous stream of meetings with buyers. But there's also a lively secondary market in the hotel lobby that's conducive to informal chance encounters and a great place to compare notes with your colleagues.
The organizers suggest that first time attendees map out a strategy for navigating the AFM. The first step is to grab copies of the free trade publications that print special AFM editions. These list the companies that are attending and what films they've brought. You want to create a "list of target companies" that seem to be "best suited for your project."
They recommend that this list be about 30-50 companies and then make an A and B list. Figure out who the right executives are at each of these companies, usually someone who's responsible for acquisitions, development and production. Then using the AFM directory, available at the Loews information desk, contact the company and try to set up a 15-minute meeting with those executives. You'll probably get a meeting during the latter part of the event when things are winding down. You want to make sure you use an executive's name and not just say, you'd like a meeting with someone in development, otherwise you might sound like you're too lazy to do your homework.
Once you have your meetings set up, it's time to refine your pitch. You may want to bring someone with you to do the pitch if you don't feel you're quite up to it. Unless you're George Clooney, it's unlikely you'll get a sale out of this first meeting. What you want is for them to be interested enough in both you and your project to set up a follow up meeting.
Make sure you have business cards, a project synopsis, a budget overview, a list of any investors, ideas about production incentives, any actors or other creatives who have signed on and a script, if you have one. But they caution you not to leave that behind without first discussing this with your lawyers.
The AFM also offers an orientation session for first times. Once you register you'll be invited.
In addition to the market there are a number of professional seminars at a parallel conference that delve into financing, marketing, the art of the pitch, producing and getting distribution.
The good news from the finance conference was that there is plenty of money available for quality projects like The King's Speech and not just the blockbuster studio pictures. But the key is "you still have to make a good movie at the end of the day," said Jared Underwood, Senior Vice President of Entertainment at Comerica Bank.
Robert Hayward, chief operating officer of Summit Entertainment summed it up, "if it's a really good project, then it gets done."
Deadline Approaching: BlueCat Screenplay Competition
The deadline is approaching for this year's BlueCat Screenplay Competition. Each screenplay submitted to our competition receives two written analyses, each averaging 600 words of valuable insight. Entries for our Final Deadline must be postmarked or received by November 15, 2011.
Of special interest to our international entrants are prizes awarded solely to writers living outside the United States, including "The Joplin" award. Created to acknowledge the large amount of screenwriters writing in English around the world, this prize awards $1,000 (USD) to an outstanding screenplay submitted by an entrant that resides outside the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.
BlueCat also offers awards to our outstanding finalist and Grand Prize winning entries. The winner of the 2012 competition will receive $10,000, and four finalists will each receive a $2,000 award.
For complete entry rules and details please visit www.bluecatscreenplay.com
Women Helping Women Event Featuring the Assistants who Control Access to the Power Players
Women Helping Women in Entertainment (men welcome to attend!) invites you to attend Gatekeepers: The Hollywood Power Assistants, Part 2. Featuring agents, managers and production company gatekeepers:
SARAH ULLMAN - Di Bonaventura Pictures (TOP production company - Transformers franchise, Red, Salt, Four Brothers, and many others)
ADITI MINDA - Mosaic Media Group (TOP Film/TV production & management company - numerous credits and top clients such as Jim Carrey, Will Ferrell, Judd Apatow)
DANIEL HEISS - VOX, Inc. (agency specializing in celeb endorsements, voiceover, content development and TV hosting)
CHANTAL PALACCI - Generate (TOP production & management company - talent & literary representation)
Click here to read panelists' full bios.
Sunday, November 13, 2011 from 3:30-6:30pm
Beverly Hills Country Club 3084 Motor Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90064
Women Helping Women Network Members: $15 Non-WHW Network Members from THIS list: Get 15% DISCOUNT off the $45 non-member rate, pay ONLY $38.25 per person (good through 7pm November 12).
Click here to Register