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A Lynching Memorial enforces billing for a nation and a newspaper



The Advertiser is not the only newspaper in the South that has made mistakes in its coverage of racial and civil rights.

The Jackson Sun in Tennessee acknowledged in 2000 that it had ignored the burgeoning civil rights movement in its coverage during the 1960s. And the Herald Leader in Lexington, Ky., Published a front page in 2004, which admitted that the newspaper practically ignored the civil rights movement.

In the case of The Advertiser, the newspaper did not praise lynch hunts, but expressed an understanding of why they happened.

After three black men were lynched in the fall of 1919 – two of them were charged with attacking white women, one killing a policeman – the advertiser wrote an editorial that blamed the men for the crimes with no evidence that they

"Good-thinking people regret lynching," the editorial said, but later added, "As long as there are rape attempts by black, red men, or yellow men on white women. There will be lynching."

This was typical for The Advertisers Tone, and the editorial that was released last week, was blunt about the newspaper's mistakes.

Bro Krift, the editor-in-chief, said the decision to turn inside as part of his The reporting on the new memorial stems from a simple question: how could the newspaper ask people to think about their roles at a time of injustice, though they would not do that?

"We have increased this idea of ​​white supremacy," said Mr Krift, who has been editor-in-chief for nearly two years

The Advertiser, which was published in 1829 and today has a circulation of about 20,000 copies, has served as an influential voice in the city, which was central to America's civil rights struggle. The reporting on black people and civil rights was decidedly mixed.

The newspaper turned against the secession in 1861, but after the Civil War took the white supremacy, so "The Race Beat", a book about press reports of the civil rights dispute by Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff, both experienced journalists

The Advertiser won a Pulitzer Prize in 1928 for editorials attacking the Ku Klux Klan. But decades later, reporting on the Montgomery bus boycott of the 1950s and the march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965 was indifferent and hostile. It criticized activists and their causes. In one story, The Advertiser misquoted and misquoted the message of Martin Luther King Jr. at a rally, according to "The Race Beat."

Even in recent years, The Advertiser sometimes struggled with its reputation in the city black communities

Wanda Lloyd became the first black editor of the newspaper in 2004. When she took over, Ms. Lloyd said that black residents themselves complained that they did not feel properly portrayed by the newspaper. Some found that they only appeared in stories about crime and other negative things. She said she had been trying to push for a more detailed coverage of stories in black communities that had been overlooked.

Black people "did not feel like their newspaper," said Ms. Lloyd, who left The Advertiser in 2013 on the other hand, I came across people who were white and thought we were going overboard with our coverage of black people. "She was surprised that The Advertiser had apologized for reporting on lynching, but hoped that would help build trust with blacks.

Mr. Krift, the current white-collar editor, said he believes that the past leaks of The Advertiser, which have historically leaned to the right, can teach a lesson today: while the newspaper failed to adequately address issues such as lynching and bus boycott, the newspaper said that it was the opportunity, the national debate over

"I think the food for us is that we need to be aware of what words we choose and how we characterize people in our newspaper," he said. In one hundred and fifty years, there could be a historian looking back on how we covered these events and Montgomery in 2018. "

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