ERIC Number: ED229769
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Muckrakers and Lynching: A Case Study in Racial Thinking.
Beasley, Maurine H.
An examination of five muckraking magazines--"Collier's,""Cosmopolitan,""McClure's,""Everybody's," and the "Arena"--reveals that while addressing many other social ills, muckraking journalists failed to take a strong stand against one of the most glaring evils of their day--the lynching of blacks. Both before and during the muckraking period, columns in "Collier's" argued both sides of the issue, sometimes opposing and sometimes favoring the lynching of blacks. "Cosmopolitan" and "Everybody's" paid almost no attention to lynching. Ray Stannard Baker wrote two articles on lynching for "McClure's" and continued to explore racial issues at "The American Magazine." After Baker's departure, "McClure's" lost interest in lynching. The more radical "Arena" opposed lynching during the premuckraking period, but made little of the issue during the period itself. The progressive movement's blind spot to lynching and race issues was caused by its feeling that immigrants and blacks did not fit in with their ideas of participatory democracy. Even Baker shared the racist perspective of his time. The muckraker's faith that "facts" themselves would lead to reform was justified only when the prevailing consensus allowed the "facts" to emerge, not in the case of the lynching of blacks. (JL)
Descriptors: Black History, Black Stereotypes, Blacks, Content Analysis, Editorials, Journalism, Justice, Media Research, News Reporting, News Writing, Periodicals, Press Opinion, Racial Attitudes, Racial Bias, Racial Discrimination, Social Action, Social Problems, Social Values, United States History
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Lynchings; Muckraking
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (66th, Corvallis, OR, August 6-9, 1983).