Spotlight TEDx Talk: Has mass media stunted our ability to see beyond stereotypes?

Watch the whole talk above

Bassam Salem believes that contemporary media has turned Americans into label mongers. With its one-dimensional portrayal of people and issues, contemporary media creates simple stories out of complex events, he says in a talk at TEDxSaltLakeCity. This practice presses people to see things without nuance or complexity, and instead rely on overblown stereotypes and simple, prefabricated narratives to analyze the world.

“We are trained at consuming labels and conjuring up fictitious characters that are everything from really strange people to really scary people; things we’re typically afraid of,” Salem says in his talk. But while the media may prompt us to turn the world into a captivating narrative of good versus equal, reality is more complex, he says.

Salem says that if we continue to consume one-dimensional data, like the mainstream American media often portrays the world to be, we will continue to function as one dimensional human beings. We must understand that we are all human, and our differences are only superficial.


  1. Hannelore

    Waw! That was an amazing talk. I hope you c

  2. LisaC

    Fabulous talk. “a label can’t describe an entire race” True words.

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  4. Thank you so very much for profiling my talk and for the kind comments above. All the best.

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