Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Hazel Brannon Smith: an Examination of Her Editorials on Three Pivotal Civil Rights Events

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Journalism

First Advisor

Kathleen Wickham

Second Advisor

Joseph Atkins

Third Advisor

Mark K. Dolan


Hazel Brannon Smith was born in Alabama but moved to Mississippi in 1936 when she acquired the Durant Times in Durant, Mississippi. Seven years later she added the Lexington Advertiser to her growing collection of newspapers and it is at the Advertiser that Smith made her greatest journalist impact. This study did a small content analysis to exam Smith's opinion on three pivotal civil rights events: the Freedom Riders of 1961, James Meredith's integration of the University of Mississippi in 1962, and Medgar Evers' assassination in 1963. Results indicate that Smith was unwavering in her opinions on all three events. Considered a liberal during the time, Smith became a champion for civil rights, she won the 1964 Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing.

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