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martin luther king and mass media Essay

Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Mass Media
Martin Luther King Jr. was a very significant and influential man. Though his life was cut short at 39 years old, he left a big mark on today’s society. From the Prayer Pilgrimage of May 17, 1957, an event and a date that marked King’s entrée into the field of national Negro leadership to the unforgettable March on Washington. (Bennett 10)King was determined to reach his goal, which was to have blacks and whiter united and treated equally.
King was faced with many obstacles, including the press. Atfirst, there was hardly any print about King’s events and protests. When the events did get recognition King’s name wasn’t mentioned at all. Not until many years later when the protests sparked violence and death was King’s name mentioned and even then, it was used in negative way.
In this paper, I will discuss how the news magazines Time, Newsweek, and the U.S. News went about distorting, neglecting, and eventually praising King and his events.
In order to help understand the Civil Rights Movement and it controversy you have to start at the beginning.
On the way home from work as a seamstress Mrs. Rosa Parks boarded a Montgomery City Line bus. When asked to give up her seat for a white passenger Rosa Parks refused. The bus driver left his seat and summoned the police. The police officer arrested Rosa Parks for violating the cities segregation ordinances. ( Bennett 59) Rosa Parks arrest sparked a one-day boycott that stretched out to 382 days. That event started the Civil Rights movement and changed the spirit of Martin Luther Kings, Jr.
Time magazine was thefirst of the newsmagazines to pick up the story of the bus boycott. (Lentz 26) Newsweek didn’t print the story until five months after it happened. In addition, not until then did King’s name was mentioned by it or Time.
Neither King nor the cause grabbed the attention of U.S. News & World Report. What they d…

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