“The Media & The Mob: Exploring the Mafia Mystique” - New Book Examines A Pervasive Ethnic Media Stereotype

Feb 09, 2013 2842

"The Media & the Mob: Exploring the Mafia Mystique" is a fascinating look at the complex issue of media stereotyping and Italian-American enthnicity, tracing its history and culminating with a historic meeting with a major television network news executives.
Ron Quartararo, author of "La Famiglia: The Power & Passion of Family, Lessons on Life" announces his latest book reflecting his 30+ years of volunteer work in combating ethnic stereotyping. The "Media & the Mob: Exploring the Mafia Mystique" is a fascinating look at the world of media stereotyping and ethnicity. A complex issue shaped in large part by misperceptions and oft-times uni-dimensional characterizations , it is also influenced by the temptation to occasionally hype stories for added promotion and by the haste of some writers and producers to get stories aired or published to meet deadlines with precious little time to employ sensitivity. As a result, a story could unintentionally and unfairly paint an entire community with the same stroke of the pen.
This book examines one of the most pervasive ethnic stereotypes – that of Italians and Italian Americans and organized crime. While ethnic stereotyping is certainly not the sole province of Italians, it has certainly been one of the most prevalent in both entertainment and news media alike. Quartararo provides a historical backdrop for the media's depiction of Italians and Italian Americans in film, TV and news media and sets the stage for a historic meeting between the Italian American representatives and TV news executives which took place in 1982. Quartararo traces the origin of the mafia image in the American media back over 100 years – in film from "Little Caesar" to the "Godfather" to "Wise Guys", as well as in TV from the "Untouchables" to the modern day "Sopranos". And that image continues to flourish as new popular series such as the "Amish Mafia", and "Mob Wives" add new dimensions to the mafia "brand."
In this book Quartararo gives the reader an inside look into the mindset of a large news media organization and the process it used for vetting news stories, along with insights into the perceptions and misperceptions that can be created in how news stories are packaged and presented. The bulk of the book is devoted to a high level meeting between an Italian American delegation and high power television news executives including the late Bill Leonard (former president of CBS News) and the late Don Hewitt, creator and executive producer of 60 Minutes. The Italian-American delegation included former NY Congressman Mario Biaggi, former Massachusetts Governor and Ambassador to Italy John Volpe, and representatives of other elected officials (including then Lt. Governor Mario Cuomo). It also included representatives from academia, and many large Italian American organizations including the oldest and largest – the Order Sons of Italy in America.
The Italian-American community objected to the use of phraseology, tone, and sensationalism in a story's presentation and "packaging" that could unintentionally create misrepresentations and false perceptions. The meeting reflected an intelligent, engaging, sometimes passionate exchange of ideas, and how "sensitivity" should be more frequently employed in broadcast journalism.
On the other side, it demonstrated how a powerful new organization goes about news gathering, striving for excellence, and trying its best to put the appropriate safe-guards in place to tell a newsworthy story without bias. All agreed that newsworthy stories needed to be accurately told, regardless of how they might be perceived, but certainly sensitivity to the ethnic communities at large needs to play a larger role.
The "Media & The Mob: Exploring the Mafia Mystique", is available for sales at http://www.Xlibris.com or on Amazon.com – both in soft cover as well as in downloadable e-book format.
[To request a complimentary paperback review copy (for media outlets), contact the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879].

by Ron Quartararo

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