Tuesday, March 07, 2006

On pages 180 and 181 of Reading on the Middle Border, Pawley discusses the role of the newspaper as a community advocate while telling the story of the death of Price V. Evans. The headline about his death said that he committed suicide but the article goes on to question the plausibility of the act. While creating speculation throughout the community, the paper is quick to point out that the Evans family is well educated and from a “highly respectable background.” Earlier in the chapter, Pawley claims that the press was a vehicle to perpetuate the prejudices of white, Protestant Anglophones, which is evident in questioning of Price Evan’s act of suicide. Similarly to the Mitchell County Press in 1895, this week’s edition of Newsweek perpetuates national prejudices through its representation of Hurricane Katrina evacuees living in Houston, TX. The two images used in this article show two extremes of citizens forced to relocate. First there is a photo of a black women being arrested after a “domestic fracas” and second there is a white man in a wheelchair with his few possessions in a sad looking hotel room. How do these images perpetuate the racial stereotypes that are present in our country? Was the Mitchell County Press as obvious in their perpetuation when denying the plausibility of the suicide of a boy from a good family?

1 comment:

Quinn Fullenkamp said...

Hmmm...Anne has raised an interesting point here, by looking at the Price v. Evans case and the latest Newsweek. It is quite interesting how the Mitchell County Press presented the Evans family, while others in the area continued to question what really happened in the case. The Mitchell COunty Press seems to be perpetuating some type of steroeotype, or distinction that may be seen as distasteful. I can sort of remember the Rodney King incident, and its portrayal in Time and Newsweek. The police involved were no angels, but all of Rodney's past sins were listed in careful detail. Didn't Pawley talk about how papers were able to build communities and build borders and distinctions between communities? I think Anne has brought out an interesting example that I totally missed!