Watts vs. Ferguson Coverage

Watts vs. Ferguson Coverage - ASCJ 100 TA Brandon Golob 12...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

ASCJ 100 TA: Brandon Golob 12 October 2014 Watts vs. Ferguson Coverage “If the police had exercised their legal right to shoot a man down who resists arrest in the course of committing a felony, the general carnage may have been aborted,” (Buckley). While it may shock people today that something so brutal could be written in response to race riots, the above statement appeared in an editorial piece by conservative author William Buckley, Jr. in the September 22, 1965 edition of the LA Times in direct response to the racial tension in Watts the month before. The statement is clear and indisputable evidence that times and opinions have changed greatly between the time of the Watts Riots and today—and that media coverage of events has changed dramatically as well. When considering the differences in coverage between the Watts Riots and the Ferguson protests, it is necessary to note the increased expediency and variety of coverage available in 2014, providing a more complete story, and the shift in the focus of the coverage, from predominantly on the black community during the Watts Riots to the actions of police officers during the Ferguson protests, which gives a more fair story. While the media has developed their ability to fully and fairly report on racial tensions, however, problems still exist in both the manner in which they represent African- American victims and in their tendency to sensationalize and editorialize news coverage. The most evident difference in media coverage between the Watts Riot and the shooting in Ferguson is the advancement of media technology, leading to increased accessibility and availability of options for the viewer. When considering the time difference, it would make sense that the media would have more outlets in 2014 than they
Image of page 1

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

did in 1965. The most accessible ways people heard the news in 1965 were the daily papers or the nightly newscasts—both of which came with a limited number of options for the viewership. There were only two or three newspapers for people to choose from in the Los Angeles area that had extensive, reliable coverage of the Watts riots; and only two or three reliable nightly news broadcasts on top of that. While people could rely fully on the factual consistency of these sources, it meant that the variety of opinions people were exposed to was minimal, and ideas espoused in these publications and broadcasts were taken almost uncritically. Additionally, the daily paper was constrained to production deadlines, so if news happened after the deadline, it would take a day or more for people to hear about it—this lead to gaps in understanding for the viewer.
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.
  • Fall '14
  • GeoffreyCowan
  • Riot, watts riots

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern