On September 14, I attended Me in Media, a discussion of minority representation in today’s media. It was organized by Schema Magazine and United Nations Association in Canada, and featured such panelists as Riaz Meghji from Breakfast Television, Sid Tan, Dr. Stuart Poyntz, and Shima Ghailan.
It was an interesting talk, to be sure. The panelists, each given seven minutes to talk about a topic of their choice, brought to the audience’s attention subjects as diverse as social media, the migration of the disprivileged from inner-city to fringes of the city, and racialization of media. The panelists hailed from a wide spectrum of our society; respectively a TV personality, an academic, a journalist and media producer, and a student.
However, I felt that the event was, well, simply not enough. In the 1 hour 45 minutes of time allotted to the event, the first thirty minutes were spent on presenting the sponsors. Then the panelists were each given about seven minutes to speak, and audience discussion followed after. This, I felt, only allowed a very superficial discussion of the topic at hand, both in terms of panelist discussion and audience questions. Given the scope of this topic, ethnicity and media, the seven minute speeches barely scratched the surface of the main issues at hand, and the speeches ended up being either too narrow in focus or conversely too shallow to allow for meaningful content. The same could be said of audience participation; in the end, only about five or six were allowed to ask questions or comment. For an event purported to be a public discussion, that number is rather a shameful one.
Overall, Me in Media was an interesting discussion, but I feel its potential was wasted; the panelists were knowledgeable, and the audience was no doubt full of questions that had to go unanswered. If it were a three, or even a four-hour event, perhaps the discussions could have been more meaningful, and I could have left a little more satisfied.
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