Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Mass Communications

First Advisor

Dr. Clarence Thomas


This is a historical examination of how select Virginia newspapers covered lynching during two time periods, 1880 to 1900 and 1920 to 1932. The newspapers include white-owned and black-owned publications. The study features the owners/editors of four papers, one black and one white from each period. They are Joseph Bryan, John Mitchell, Jr., Douglas Southall Freeman and P.B. Young. The study also examines the standards of journalistic conduct that prevailed during the time periods, and how the selected editors met these expectations. The study concludes that white-owned papers, during the early period, reflected the racism that existed in Virginia at the time. During the later period, white papers were more neutral in their reporting and opposed to lynching in their edito1ials. The black papers were opposed during both periods. The study also concludes that the four editors varied in their allegiance to the journalistic standards of the day.


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Date of Submission