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Equal TimeTelevision and the Civil Rights Movement$
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Aniko Bodroghkozy

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036682

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036682.001.0001

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The March on Washington and a Peek into Racial Utopia

The March on Washington and a Peek into Racial Utopia

Chapter:
(p.89) Chapter 4 The March on Washington and a Peek into Racial Utopia
Source:
Equal Time
Author(s):

Aniko Bodroghkozy

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252036682.003.0005

This chapter examines how television networks handled the coverage of the March on Washington on August 28, 1963 to a national audience of millions. The March on Washington drew a quarter of a million civil rights activists who converged on the nation's capital to press for “jobs and freedom.” Television cameras and reporters focused on the demonstrators' placards and signs. All three networks broadcast the event live. With the exception of presidential inaugurations and nominating conventions, no single event had ever commanded such extensive television coverage. This chapter first considers how the CBS news team framed and packaged the March on Washington as a news story, and particularly Martin Luther King Jr.'s “I Have a Dream” speech, before discussing various responses to the television news reporting of the march in the African American press. It suggests that the March on Washington functioned as a paean of “black and white together,” as the networks invited viewers to share in a utopian taste of achieved equality.

Keywords:   television networks, March on Washington, CBS, Martin Luther King Jr., television coverage, African American press, equality, television news

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