Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Degree Discipline



The significance of this study lies in the examination of the effect of the media upon the public image of an historical event. Such a test was projected from the standpoint of the full range of media, viz., newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. This investigation will demonstrate that the media is furnishing for the future historical documents, and that this kind of documentation has to be understood in all of its dimensions, i.e., idealogy, frame of reference, clientele, climate of opinion, etc., if the historian is to make the best use of the information provided.

The test incident is the Selma March of 1965 led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This study will reveal the flavor and nature of the media documentation of this event which occurred March 21 through 25, 1965. The span of the media will give the writer the opportunity to compare image-making techniques and assess the probable impact upon future understanding of the event.

Statement of the problem. What is the effect of the nature of the media upon their validity as sources of historical documentation?

Some scholars have a feeling of skepticism toward the validity of the media for purposes of historical documentation. Professor Hockett states that the historian who uses newspapers as sources must take pains to check all statements with care. Newspapers include matters of many different kinds, and the critic's attitude must vary according to the nature of the item. Weekly and monthly news journals, he believed, are more trustworthy than the dailies.

Committee Chair/Advisor

George R. Woolfolk

Committee Member



Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical College


© 2021 Prairie View A & M University

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View





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