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Grant number: FA-57949-14

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Craig Flournoy
Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX 75205)

The New York Times, the Black Press, and the Epic Battle to Report the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S.

A study of how the mainstream media, particularly the New York Times, and the black press covered the civil rights revolution (1947-1968) by examining and comparing their reporting of ten landmark events. My work challenges accepted views of civil rights journalism; finds the black press provided superior coverage in the 1940s and 1950s by interviewing blacks and questioning the official white version of events, approaches later used by young white journalists; shows mainstream publications gave unprecedented attention to race stories as early as 1947 but the Times' coverage was handicapped by the racial prejudice of its publisher and managing editor; explores the cultural divide between white and black reporters and the profound changes wrought by the civil rights revolution from dismantling social barriers such as Jim Crow laws to fundamentally altering the journalism and newsrooms of formerly racist publications north and south.

Project fields:
Media Studies

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2015 – 7/31/2016