Thursday, February 09, 2017

What is Thomas J. Hrach reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Thomas J. Hrach, author of The Riot Report and the News: How the Kerner Commission Changed Media Coverage of Black America.

His entry begins:
I am in my 50s, an age when a person realizes that there is more in the rear view mirror than in the front windshield. I recognize that history is not something that happened a long time ago, but rather it was made just in the span of my lifetime. I was born in 1963 so I am reading about a time period that changed the world, and it changed me too.

On my reading table right now is Eric Schlosser’s Command and Control, a book about nuclear weapons safety. The book highlights an accident near Damascus, Arkansas, where a Titan 2 missile exploded with a nuclear warhead on top. That happened in 1980, a long time ago, but...[read on]
About The Riot Report and the News, from the publisher:
On July 28, 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson established the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders to investigate the causes of unrest in urban black communities during the 1960s. Chaired by Illinois governor Otto Kerner Jr., the commission ominously warned, “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.” And it aimed its sharpest criticism at the mainstream media, concluding: “The press has too long basked in a white world, looking out of it, if at all, with white men’s eyes and a white perspective.” Major news media responded by expanding and diversifying their coverage of black communities and increasing the number of African Americans in their newsrooms.

Although much has been written about the Kerner Commission, the analysis has focused primarily on its affect on the American press. In The Riot Report and the News, Thomas J. Hrach instead explores how the commission came to its conclusions, in order to understand why and how its report served as a catalyst for change. Hrach finds that such government criticism of the media can have a long-term and positive influence on the nation, an insight that remains important as the news continues to struggle with how to cover issues of race.
Learn more about The Riot Report and the News at the University of Massachusetts Press website.

The Page 99 Test: The Riot Report and the News.

My Book, The Movie: The Riot Report and the News.

Writers Read: Thomas J. Hrach.

--Marshal Zeringue