Journalism and the Troubled Legacy of the Enlightenment<br />Race, Gender and the News<br />Kim Pearson<br />
As we saw last week<br />The Age of Enlightenment introduced the ideal of a society founded on egalitarian ideals<br />How...
Contradicting Egalitarian Ideals<br />Belief that race and gender hierarchies were ordained by God<br />“Great Chain of Be...
Early news media echoed these beliefs<br />Hottentot Venus<br />Narratives of “exploration”<br />Ads for sales of slaves, ...
Journalism in the Jacksonian era<br />De Tocqueville – Democracy in America<br />Americans as<br />Individualistic<br />Pr...
Cult of true womanhood<br />As we have seen with the reaction to such writers as Mary Wollstonecraft women’s claims to equ...
This framed the context for the rise of black, native and feminist presses<br />Had to confront racist, sexist ideologies<...
Native American newspapers<br />Cherokee Phoenix established 1828, still published<br />Sequoyah’ssyllabary<br />Founding ...
The rise of “objective” journalism<br />Mindich, Schudson agree the tenets emerged over course of 19th, early 20th centuri...
Conclusion<br />Enlightenment era spawned a contradiction:<br />The press became a means of oppression<br />The creation o...
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The contradictory legacy of the Enlightenment for American journalism

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The European Enlightenment fostered ideals that still animate democratic societies, but those ideals were freighted with received notions of white supremacy and patriarchy. This presentation traces the ways in which those ideas affected the development of the norms and practices of American journalism in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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The contradictory legacy of the Enlightenment for American journalism

  1. 1. Journalism and the Troubled Legacy of the Enlightenment<br />Race, Gender and the News<br />Kim Pearson<br />
  2. 2. As we saw last week<br />The Age of Enlightenment introduced the ideal of a society founded on egalitarian ideals<br />However, received notions about human nature from theology, law and science kept those ideals from being universally applied<br />Therefore news and publishing industries perpetuated notions of race and gender hierarchy<br />
  3. 3. Contradicting Egalitarian Ideals<br />Belief that race and gender hierarchies were ordained by God<br />“Great Chain of Being”<br />“Sons of Ham,” “Mark of Cain”<br />Linnaeus’ taxonomy makes racism scientific<br />Laws permitting <br />Slavery, <br />Defining women as property <br />Restricting naturalization to free white men<br />
  4. 4. Early news media echoed these beliefs<br />Hottentot Venus<br />Narratives of “exploration”<br />Ads for sales of slaves, “wanted posters for runaways<br />Some women became printers, publishers, usually as wives and mothers of men in the industry<br />Magazines instructed women on proper conduct<br />
  5. 5. Journalism in the Jacksonian era<br />De Tocqueville – Democracy in America<br />Americans as<br />Individualistic<br />Property loving<br />Anti-authoritarian<br />Pietistic<br />Favoring voluntarism<br />Dawn of the Penny Presses<br />Temperance, Abolitionist presses<br />
  6. 6. Cult of true womanhood<br />As we have seen with the reaction to such writers as Mary Wollstonecraft women’s claims to equality was ridiculed<br />Mid-19th century “cult of domesticity” promoted view that women ruled the private sphere, men the public sphere<br />Godey’s Ladies Book: Sarah Josefa Hale<br />
  7. 7. This framed the context for the rise of black, native and feminist presses<br />Had to confront racist, sexist ideologies<br />Contest dominant narratives<br />Highlight contradictory evidence – eg Benjamin Banneker’s letter to Thomas Jefferson<br />Equiano’s depiction of the unchristian behavior of slaveonwners<br />Promote alternative narratives<br />Biblical arguments: Moses, Acts 17:26<br />Wheatley: salvation makes us equal<br />Maria Stewart<br />Cady Stanton, et al: Woman’s Bible, adopt “liberty rhetoric)<br />Had to instruct the masses (Maria Stewart)<br />Had to create forum for strategizing and organizing <br />
  8. 8. Native American newspapers<br />Cherokee Phoenix established 1828, still published<br />Sequoyah’ssyllabary<br />Founding Editor, Elias Boudinot<br />Key issue: Indian Removal, Indian nationhood<br />
  9. 9. The rise of “objective” journalism<br />Mindich, Schudson agree the tenets emerged over course of 19th, early 20th centuries<br />Non-partisanship<br />Detachment<br />Facticity<br />Inverted Pyramid<br />Balance<br />Assumed to be the province of white men, hence the savaging of Ida B. Wells<br />Note how the Times’ slur fits race, class gender hierarchy <br />
  10. 10. Conclusion<br />Enlightenment era spawned a contradiction:<br />The press became a means of oppression<br />The creation of alternative presses allowed people to “plead our own cause”<br />(More)<br />

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