Media myths and stereotypes: a historical content analysis of the Courier-Journal and its portrayal of African Americans by T.W. Miles
This University of Louisville dissertation by Troy W. Miles is an examination of the reinforcement of racial stereotypes and images by the media in articles published between the 1940s and 1960s. The work was completed in 2004. The following abstract comes from the WorldCat catalog record.
"This study is based upon the assumption that racial ideology plays a major role in the subordination of groups of people and the media act as major contributors in spreading ideological influences. The study is an exploratory examination of the Courier-Journal's contributions to the development of the African American image. It builds on the work of local Historian George C. Wright who examined racial violence in Kentucky from 1865 to 1940 and found that Kentucky newspaper articles glorified lynching. The present study extends the analysis by examining articles from the decades of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. Content analysis was performed to examine the role that the dominant media outlet of that time played in reinforcing ideologically inspired racial stereotypes. Articles selected for inclusion in the study were all of those that contained the words "Black", "Colored", "Negro", and "African American," because these words have historically been used as references for African Americans. The articles were graded into four categories: demoralizing, unwholesome, trivial, or worthwhile. Findings in this study show that the Courier-Journal published news articles that contributed to the perpetuation of racial stereotypes in each decade. Over the period of three decades most articles presented negative depictions of black life. However, positive depictions increased with each decade and negative depictions declined. The study concludes that the 1940s was the most detrimental period studied for the development of African American image, and the 1960s was the most positive."