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Our Message in The Media

Several articles in this issue of The Canadian Blind Monitor deal with the portrayal of blindness on television, in the movies, and in the news.

Anyone who has paid attention to this subject knows that some of the very powerful images of blindness created by the media have been less than helpful to us. Others have been neutral. Some have been a real boost on our long climb to recognition as fully capable members of our society.

It is tempting to talk about the media as a monolithic force. In reality, the people who make decisions about what goes on television are not terribly different from the people who watch the television shows. In a very real way the portrayals of blindness in the media reflect the diversity of attitudes in the larger society.

We are not powerless when it comes to the depiction of blindness in print or on the screen. We can and should make our views known and do what we can to shape the way in which we are portrayed. In order to do this effectively, we must understand what we want and what we are not willing to tolerate. We need to develop the capacity to get our point of view across and the courage to oppose images we find objectionable.

The Canadian Blind Monitor would be interested in publishing articles and letters about readers' experiences (both positive and negative) with newspaper reporters, TV and radio journalists, or movies, plays, and TV shows with blind characters. As we share our experiences we can develop a consensus that will help shape our interactions with the diverse group of people collectively known as the media.