42nd Annual AJHA Convention
Columbus, Ohio | Sept. 28-30, 2023
Panel Session: Black Power to Woke: The Historical Evolution of Black Racial Consciousness in Black Media
Moderator: Earnest Perry, University of Missouri
The historical Black press has served as the mouthpiece for racial consciousness and empowerment, but more recently Black-created media content has also bridged that gap between mainstream and advocacy media. The recent mainstream media coverage of “culture wars on woke” influences political, economic, and social dissent against Black/Brown individuals and other marginalized identities. In the post-Trump racial reckoning, local and state-wide policies have attacked the teaching of Black history and erased diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts in an attempt to reduce social change and diminish the systemic oppression still plaguing society’s most disenfranchised communities. While the backlash on racial consciousness and progress isn’t new, this panel will trace how the Black press/media has shaped social movements, such as Black Power and Black Lives Matter, through language, imagery, and advocacy to gain mainstream momentum and resistance.
Panel Session: Happily Ever After: Advice for Journalism Historians on Working with Book Editors and Publishers
Moderator: Jon Marshall, Northwestern University
Getting a book manuscript published takes many steps, some of which can be difficult to navigate. Authors must work with editors and other publishing staff to go through the peer review process, agree on contracts, finalize manuscripts, review page proofs, complete indexes, select covers, and gain positive publicity. This panel of book authors and a book series editor will share advice on what questions to ask editors and publishers, how to work with them in the most productive way, and what mistakes to avoid. The panel will include plenty of time for questions and conversation with the audience.
Panel Session: From Talk to Action: Making Journalism History More Inclusive
Moderator: Tracy Lucht, Iowa State University
Recognizing the need for inclusivity is one thing; achieving it is another. This panel of scholars—all of them editors and/or contributors to the recent Routledge Companion to Journalism History—revisits a longstanding problem: the need to reimagine journalism history across forms, formats, and voices while making the field more welcoming and equitable. The speakers will offer new ways of looking at media history—its standards, methods, theories, and practices—with the goal of expanding the narrative, correcting the record, and elevating underrepresented voices and experiences.
Panel Session: Covering and Violating Civil Rights in the Mid-Twentieth Century:
Reconsidering Journalism Standards
Moderator: Raja Das, Ohio University
During the mid-Twentieth Century, members of the U.S. press reconsidered their professional roles amid calls to leave behind their World War II-era promotion of the United States, its allies, and its propaganda to provide more independent and socially responsible news coverage. This shift aligned with the postwar surge in the movement for Black civil rights, which intensified reporting on race in the 1950s and 1960s. The courts, as venues for historic contests over racialized power, produced newsworthy criminal trials and civil litigation that captivated audiences and framed the national narrative about civil rights. Although the white press reported on court proceedings and legal inequity, it also missed opportunities to expand understanding of racism and its effects, sometimes violating the civil rights of those it covered. Drawing upon primary sources, panelists will revisit significant court coverage from this period and will discuss what news coverage and archived correspondence reveal about journalists’ rationales for how they reported on pivotal criminal cases, libel suits, and contempt of court cases involving members of the press during the civil rights movement. Panelists will discuss what these high-profile civil-rights related cases reveal about journalism standards in the mid-Twentieth Century. The panel will invite audience members to discuss implications for journalism history from panelists’ findings about coverage of these civil-rights related cases and journalistic conduct during the mid-Twentieth Century.