While studying abroad in Melbourne, Australia, Hannah Tooley, an advertising and journalism senior at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC), was inspired by the differences in media law between the United States and Australia. This inspiration led Tooley to produce “Racial discrimination in the media,” an undergraduate research piece exploring the complex implications of discrimination and stereotyping in the media. The article was published recently on Upstart, an Australia website for emerging journalists.
Although Tooley was born in China, she was adopted early on and has spent her life in the United States. Her experiences as a Chinese-American have offered her a unique point of view about race that has contributed to her interest in the subject of racial discrimination in the media.
Tooley says she was technically considered a minority while living in Australia, and the perspective she gained from that label prompted her to look deeper into the issues of race in the media. “In this day and age, we have a lot of worry about political correctness. Just be mindful of what you’re saying, and think about how what you’re saying can be damaging to a person,” she said. “But at the same time, don’t be afraid to explore those difficult topics. That’s something I really think is important.”
Students like Tooley are continuing to uphold and advocate for the SOJC’s principle of ethics in journalism. “You don’t have to completely change your views, but it is important to become aware and understand that there is more than one way to look at things,” Tooley said.
Story by Nicole Rideout ’16