Was or was there not a law passed maybe ten years ago about Subliminal messaging and the media. I know there definately is in the US. So far this is all I came accross that might help.
How to Deal with Racial Bias in the Electronic Media
Center for Research-Action on Race Relations
Republished with permission
A Case in Point
During the 1990 Oka crisis, the conflict between Chateauguay residents and the Mohawk Nation was the main topic of media coverage. The crisis dominated radio news broadcasts, open-line talk shows, commentaries, comedy sketches, etc.
On July 17, 1990, CKTF-FM Gatineau aired a mock public service announcement from a Canadian Wildlife Foundation which identified the "Mohawks" as a new "species" of Canadian wildlife. The sketch, which was meant to be humorous, portrayed ''le Mohawk" as a problematic, undesirable member of Canadian society, and as an animal with a particular liking for "alcohol, tobacco, and automatic weapons".
Further, it made references to the Mohawks being territorial animals which might attack those who get too close to their boundaries. It ridiculed the Mohawk culture with a parody of their traditional colors, stating that the Mohawks are red by nature, yellow, black, or white in times of war, and green after they have had too much to drink. As a result of this sketch, a complaint was filed by a listener with the CKTF-FM radio station, Le Devoir, and the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission), the federal agency which oversees and regulates the broadcasting industry in Canada.
The CRTC ruled the sketch to be "absolutely unworthy of the Canadian air waves and perpetuated a fictitious stereotype of the Mohawk people" [translation].
In response to the complaint, the CRTC required that CKTF-FM submit for approval its proposed guidelines and control mechanisms which would be used to govern future commentaries aired on the station and to avoid future bias. Moreover, appropriate measures were to be taken by the station itself in order to ensure that similar situations would not occur in the future.
Racial Bias in the Electronic Media
A bias is a preconceived attitude, opinion or perception of certain groups. The media are biased when they present false, negatively distorted or stereotypical images of members of a certain group, either out of ignorance or out of malice. Media bias can also be the total and deliberate omission of a group's lifestyles, opinions and activities.
Bias is often subtle and therefore difficult to detect. Without consciousness-raising, or a strong understanding of racial prejudice and discrimination, chances are that you will not recognize it. Media manipulation, subliminal messages and one-sided opinions can make you believe that reality is what is being shown. This flyer is not designed to help you detect bias in the media. However, it does tell you what you can do to effectively deal with racial bias in the electronic media (radio and television).
What you should do: Know how the system works
In general, each program on radio or television falls under the responsibilities of three parties: the producer, the president of the station or agency, and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the federal agency that oversees and regulates the broadcasting industry in Canada.
When you see or hear bias:
1. Immediately record the biased segment or message. You can do this electronically or simply by taking a few notes. Note the basic 5W's: who, where, what, when, why and how. Write down clear details, and describe in detail what was said or shown and in what context. Make sure you have the correct names of the show, the station, and the person(s) responsible for the segment. Exact time and dates are also important.
2. Write down your objection. For strategic reasons, use a constructive approach. A polite and moderate tone projects an image of reason, firmness and seriousness. Avoid being emotional and using words that suggest insults, threats or overreaction. You must remember that your goal is to get a public apology, prevent further bias and mobilize public support for your viewpoint. An antagonistic and negative approach often makes people more defensive and resistant to suggestions or demands for change.
3. Communicate with the person directly responsible for the show. For practical purposes, you may find it more persuasive and effective to send by registered mail a copy of your objection to the show's producer and the president (or manager) of the station at the same time. Keep a copy for your own records. Within 2 weeks, follow up by telephone.
4. If you still do not get a satisfactory response, complain to the CRTC. Send your letter to the local office in Montreal (or your own city), addressed to the Regional Manager, and to the Secretary-General in Ottawa. It is advised that you act within 30 days. This is because most radio and television stations must keep a log of the last 30 days of their programs in case any person challenges the materials as being biased. Then the CRTC investigator can trace the segment and analyze it for bias.
Upon receipt of your complaint, the CRTC will take over the file and inform you of its action. The standard practice is that it will contact the station and ask for an explanation.
If there is finding of bias, the CRTC will mediate for a retraction. This retraction can be made in writing to yourself and/or on the air as a public apology. The CRTC can also call the station's representative to a public hearing to "show cause", that is, to hear the station's version as to why it believes what was said was not biased.
5. Make an intervention at the CRTC public-hearing on the station's license renewal. If a station is persistently presenting biased stories and images, and if your complaints produce no results, your best action is to intervene during the period of license renewal. Radio and television stations in Canada must have a license to operate. Their license will be renewed after a certain period (usually 5 years), at which time the CRTC will invite the public to address it as to whether it supports or opposes the license renewal. The CRTC regularly publishes notices of hearings in the newspapers with full information concerning how to make an intervention. When dealing with racial bias in the electronic media, keep in mind that:
The more people complain, the more the CRTC is likely to act.
With strong public pressure, the station will correct itself, otherwise it will face three options: loss of audience, loss of advertisers and sponsors, and potential loss of license.
Avoid making your case into a "freedom of speech'' or a "free press" case. Media agencies under public criticism often use the "free press" argument to defend their practices. They often try to depict your group as another special interest group trying to impose its views. This argument almost always works.
Mobilize external support for your case. If you turn the issue into an "ethnic" one, or a single-group issue, you risk "ghetto-izing" the case. Turn to other professional and public interest groups to add legitimacy to your claims.
Often the most biased programs are the open-line talk shows, in which the host allows callers to state their views. The conscientious host will try to cut off, or correct prejudicial callers immediately. Should she/he not, call the show's producer and the station manager immediately to protest. Avoid debating on the air. Chances are you will become defensive or irritated, which may present a negative impression of your case to the audience.
If you are a group's representative invited to speak on a certain show, avoid those hosted by sensationalist personalities. These hosts often try to further distort the issue. Decline all invitations, and choose instead those stations with conscientious and professional hosts.
This section has been designed specifically for residents of Quebec, but many of the suggestions could also be implemented in other provinces.
You can also bring a complaint of racial bias in the media to the attention of the Quebec Human Rights Commission. The Commission is a provincial government agency set up to protect and promote your rights as enumerated by the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. Although the Commission has no legal jurisdiction over the media, it does play the role of "watchdog" and can intervene through its educational mandate.
You can also file a complaint with the Quebec Press Council. The Council is a non-profit organization made up of representatives from the media industry, and some members of the public. The Council's main objective is to protect the public's right of free access to information, ensure freedom of the press, and encourage responsible media coverage. The Council investigates and renders decisions on complaints of biased or controversial media coverage filed by members of the public. It also investigates unethical media coverage on its own initiative. However, unlike the CRTC, the Press Council is not a regulatory agency, its powers are strictly moral and persuasive.
You should contact your elected representative (City Councilor, Member of the National Assembly, or Member of Parliament) to inform them of incidents of racial bias. As a constituent and voter, you have the right to communicate with them and ask them to denounce, and take concrete action to fight racism.
You should also address your complaint directly to the federal Minister of Multiculturalism and Citizenship, and the Quebec Minister of Cultural Communities and Immigration, urging them to speak out against the incident and to intervene with the appropriate authorities.
Radio and television broadcasting in Canada is under federal jurisdiction, and subject to regulation by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), an independent regulatory agency. The CRTC has adopted two sets of regulations which deal specifically with bias and discrimination in the electronic media:
Paragraph 3 (b) of the federal Radio Regulations, 1986, states that:
A licensee (that is, a person licensed to carry on broadcasting undertakings) shall not broadcast any abusive comment that, when taken in context, tends or is likely to expose an individual or a group or class of individuals to hatred or contempt on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, sex, age or mental or physical ability.
Paragraph 5 (1) (b) of the federal Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987, states that:
A licensee shall not broadcast any abusive comment or abusive pictorial representation that, when taken in context, tends or is likely to expose an individual or a group or class of individuals to hatred or contempt on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, sex, age or mental or physical ability.
http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/r ... _media.cfm