ERIC Number: ED173821
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Hoosier Newsman and the Hooded Order: Indiana Press Reaction to the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s.
Scharlott, Bradford W.
Coverage in a sample of ten Indiana daily newspapers was analyzed, documentary evidence was gathered, and interviews with surviving newswriters were conducted to determine how the Indiana press reported the Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s. The study found that Indiana papers gave the Klan, while it was powerful, more favorable coverage than unfavorable coverage. During the early 1920s, 30% of the Klan-related articles were favorable, 20% were unfavorable, and the rest were neutral. In addition, the favorable articles were given greater play in the papers than the unfavorable articles. After 1925, when the Klan was declining in size and political strength, 33% of the Klan-related articles were unfavorable to it and only one percent was favorable, with the unfavorable articles receiving greater play than the favorable articles. The study shows that there were compelling reasons for not challenging the Klan, including fear of violence and economic reprisals. It concludes that even though Indiana newswriters on the whole did not oppose the Klan while it was powerful, they acted in a reasonable fashion for people more interested in self-preservation than in living up to the ideal that newspapers should be motivated solely by considerations of public welfare. (Author/RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Indiana; Ku Klux Klan
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (62nd, Houston, Texas, August 5-8, 1979)