Technology is accelerating constant change within our society. This change has brought a freedom never known to racist and derogatory efforts. Today, as a result of technological advances, many racist actions are no longer punishable or monitored by law. With the advent of the personal computer, Internet and offspring technologies including, but not limited to email, web blogs, instant messaging, site hosting, chat rooms, cable television, and satellite radio, media has taken a powerful turn. Overall, these advances have given American media the ability to disseminate important news and ideals to audiences all over the world. However, it also has catapulted racist and derogatory content to new and seemingly untouchable heights, with the ability to spread these thoughts and images without legal ramifications.
The purpose of this research is to examine the National Association of Colored People's (NAACP) Youth & College Division's STOP Campaign, explore demeaning media content and how new technology has propelled it forward, and assess audience perception of the dynamics of the campaign in disseminating its message to combat this content.
In-depth interviews and focus group sessions were conducted with college students, discussing their level of knowledge of the NAACP, the STOP Campaign and its mission. Participants were asked their opinions about the campaign and its effects on them as media consumers, their views on demeaning content and if changes to the campaign were necessary to reach the target audience.
Through thematic analysis, themes and patterns emerged which revealed that although the participants were familiar with the NAACP, less than one quarter of the participants had heard of the campaign. Furthermore, findings indicate that participants often come in contact with derogatory content and are able to separate "real life" from entertainment. Many stated that they are intelligent enough to know right from wrong and they do not need a campaign to make these decisions. In addition, all of the participants believed that the campaign in its current state is a good start, but not enough to raise awareness and change the actions and/or opinions of a wide range of people.