The Variation of African-American Communication in Printed Media: A Study of African-American Coverage of War in the United States


Brandon Smith

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When compared to mainstream print media, the black print media has been improperly criticized, which leads to the question, how can and should the quality of the African American newspaper be measured? This subject has been under much debate since the beginning of the black press. This is a study of the California Eagle, an African American newspaper based in Los Angeles, coverage of WWII from 1941 to 1943. There are four main criticisms of the black print media that are the focus of this research project. Examples from the California Eagle were used to disprove these four theories: 1) second rate: black newspapers are read after mainstream newspapers are read, 2) sensationalism: black newspapers produce extreme emotional agitation in people, 3) ?race angling:? black newspapers exaggerate race relations, and 4) Elitism: black newspapers caters more to black elites. Several studies of the black print media have used the mainstream print media as the standard to compare and criticize the black newspaper. Although the black print media should be critiqued, to measure the quality of the black newspaper the black print media should not and can not be compared to mainstream print media.


R. Freer




Support provided by:The Ford Foundation

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