We get a daily diet of media coverage from our televisions and radios to our computers and mobile devices.As much as we rely on popular media to inform us, newspapers headlines, television broadcasts and online blog posts have the power to influence our reactions and perceptions of what we read, watch and hear.A group of MA students in the Social Justice and Equity Studies program at Brock will examine the power of popular media as one of 12 panel presentations at the April 11 Mapping the New Knowledges Graduate Student Research Conference. More than 90 graduate students are participating in the seventh annual research conference that runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Plaza Building (levels 3 and 4).The Social Justice and Equity panel will cover a range of social justice topics including animal rights, Afrocentric schools, pimping, and youth-driven NGOs. “The projects that we are working on are intended to be not only interesting, but also relevant and useful both inside and outside of academia. We are, after all, engaging with popular media’s representation of important issues that are a part of many people’s everyday lives,” says Jade Wallace who will present along with Jennifer Lucking, Lynn DeCaro, Ian Purdy and Mash Modiji, from 2:15 to 4 p.m., in Plaza 410.Wallace will speak about a recent controversial public awareness campaign by PETA in which the organization drew comparisons between the historic enslavement and oppression of African-Americans and the historic and contemporary exploitation of animals.“It’s not a historically uncommon comparison, but it ignited a lot of controversy. My presentation looks at the history of the comparison, as well as newspaper coverage of PETA’s campaign, to figure out why people were so riled by the comparison of animals to slaves,” she says.“I wanted to determine whether public anger was reasoned or just reactionary and whether PETA did in fact act condemnably. What I found was that the newspaper articles tended to sensationalize and failed to provide context for PETA’s campaign, but that PETA also exploited African-Americans and their history, which is not really a useful strategy for an animal rights organization that claims to be interested in the end of all types of oppression.“As far as my research indicates, PETA’s tactics in this campaign have not really been discussed at an academic level. Given that PETA is the world’s largest animal rights organization, I think it is important to critically evaluate their strategies to see whether they might helpfully or harmfully be adopted by similar organizations.”
“There’s 100,000 children living under siege in eastern Aleppo being bombed every day. We need that to stop,” he told AFP.Hundreds of wounded civilians were stranded in rebel-held areas of Aleppo on Saturday as the United Nations said security concerns were again preventing evacuations despite Russia extending a ceasefire into a third day.Demonstrators in London waved placards reading “May: stop Putin”, “Child murder is a war crime” and “Save Aleppo’s children”.They chanted: “Down with Bashar al-Assad! Down with dictators!”Bert Wander, campaign director with the activist group Avaaz, told AFP: “They could impose sanctions on relevant parts of the Russian economy – for example, military equipment. Carey Mulligan joins a protest calling on the British government to intervene in the Syrian conflictCredit:WILL OLIVER/EPA “They could also up diplomatic pressure. It’s been limp, frankly, so far. There’s so much more that could be done in terms of putting pressure on the Russians to back down.”Wael Aleji, a spokesman for the Syrian Network for Human Rights, said: “The UK can step up efforts and push for a UN General Assembly resolution to override the Russian and Chinese veto at the UN Security Council.”French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Saturday asked the Security Council to condemn the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and urged that those behind the attacks be placed under sanctions.The United States, Britain and France have repeatedly called for sanctions, particularly against the Syrian regime, over the use of chemical weapons. Around 150 people rallied in central London on Saturday calling for Britain to take decisive action to end the five-year war in Syria.They piled up teddy bears outside Downing Street to symbolise the number of young casualties in the battered city of Aleppo from a recent surge in violence.They also delivered a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May’s 10 Downing Street office demanding she take action to help cease the bloodshed.”We’re here today to send a very strong message to Theresa May that what’s happening in Aleppo just cannot continue,” said James Sadri, director of The Syria Campaign, which calls for humanitarian action in the war-ravaged country. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.