Reader perceptions toward the Columbus Call and post and Columbus' local white press

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Hawkins, Ida M.
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The black press has been a key element in black America for nearly 155 years. During this period the black Dress faced both success and failure. More than 3,000 black newspapers have been produced since 1327, when Freedom's Journal made its mark as tine first black newspaper in the United States. This growth, however, has been somewhat superficial. Historically, the average life span of a black newspaper has been nine years. And today there are only about 200 black newspapers published in this country.1Growth of the black Dress has been stifled by many burdens. In its early stages of development sporadic printing plagued the black Dress. Lack of well-trained, journalists and business men and the tendency of the establishment Dress to lure the few quality black journalists onto their staffs to cover the civil rights movement and the black community, contributed to the decline of the black press. The black Dress' dependence on circulation as its main source of revenue and the denial of the black press by some "upwardly mobile" blacks, has also stunted the black Dress' growth.Another negative characteristic that plagued the black Dress appeared during the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s. During this time the black Dress was caught in a bind by competing with the faster and more readily available majority media and tie more radical protest newspapers.3 Traditionally, the black Dress has served as a crusader, fervently advocating the civil rights of blacks. "The black press was the focal point of every controversy and every concern of black people..."4 Although the black press still acts as an advocate, it now has a more moderate tone and has concentrated its energies on local news events and issues. Today the black press' role seems to have fused with the role of the community Dress, reporting news the majority press neglects due to economic and physical reasons. The black Dress has become a vehicle for education, information and leadership in the black community by keeping its readers informed on what their community leaders and organizations are doing. The black Dress reflects black life, making his life significant to himself, setting themes for discussion and suggesting the focus of attention.5As a newspaper, it is a necessity to survival that the press and its editors respond and move with the changes found in the social, economic and political spheres of its readers and community. Failure to anticipate these changes or respond to them may alienate the community from the newspaper, thereby reducing respect for and the leadership potential and role of that particular press.Today's growth and survival of the black press is due not only to apparent neglect on the Dart of the majority Dress toward the black community in inadequately fulfilling the black community's needs in regards to supplying them with information concerning their community. The attitude of suspicion held by the black community toward the majority Dress has also aided the black press' growth. There is a conviction that prevails in the black community that many of the majority newspapers place blacks in an unfavorable light and cannot be trusted to tell the truth about blacks.