The News Media and the Disorders: The Kerner Commission's Examination of Race Riots and Civil Disturbances, 1967-1968

by Hrach, Thomas J.

Abstract (Summary)
The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, known informally as the Kerner Commission, issued a 425-page report on March 1, 1968, that brought the attention of the nation to the issues of race and poverty. President Lyndon Johnson appointed the commission on July 27, 1967, after a summer of urban rioting in hopes of preventing future violence. One of the questions Johnson asked the commission to answer was: "What effect do the mass media have on the riots?" From that question, the commission developed Chapter Fifteen of the Kerner Report titled "The News Media and the Disorders." Historians and journalists credit the news media chapter with inspiring improvement in how the press covered race and poverty and encouraging an increase in the number of blacks hired into the mainstream media. This dissertation examines how and why the commission developed its news media chapter. It analyzes why the news media were criticized for their coverage of rioting, who were the major influences on the development of the chapter, what research was used to come to the commission's conclusions and how the chapter was put together.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Ohio University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:news media kerner commission civil disorders race riots


Date of Publication:01/01/2008

© 2009 All Rights Reserved.