The news is an integral part of everyday life. Turning on the TV, reading the newspaper or perusing the internet is a part of the daily routine of many. But what if the news was inaccurate and distorted? This was a severe problem in the 1960s when newspapers sensationalized and sometimes fabricated reports on the race riots and social issues of the day. Often, reporters used biased sources for information or cited interviews with officials who were ill-informed about the situations. These flaws in news reporting were brought to light by the 1968 Kerner report (http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6553/).

The Kerner report states that the media inaccurately and inadequately portrayed the news. Those who controlled media were predominately white and the black community felt as though their perspective was not being portrayed in the news. Since it was a time of such extreme social tension, accurate and factual news coverage was extremely important. The imbalanced portrayal of news caused a “white agenda” to be the only perspective the news showed, and the black community mistrusted the newspapers because they misrepresented their views. The Kerner Commission Report brought many social injustices to the forefront of social consciousness while also addressing the inequities of media treatment of these issues.

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