Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Southern Studies


Southern Studies

First Advisor

Kathleen Wickham

Second Advisor

Barbara Combs

Third Advisor

David Wharton

Relational Format



The following thesis examines media coverage of a 1970 campus shooting at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi, during which two black students were killed and several others were injured. Over forty years after the shootings, the incident remains largely absent from the dominant historical narrative. This study posits that the contradictory accounts published by various Jackson-area news outlets blurred the lines between facts and subjective perspectives and as a consequence limited the resources used by historians to construct a narrative of the shootings. Consequently, Mississippi media outlets contributed to the incident's absence from the dominant historical narrative and American popular memory. The thesis considers history and journalism theories and methodologies in an interdisciplinary approach that allows for an examination of reports from Jackson newspaper outlets, as well as the social and political environments that shaped the media coverage that emerged from Jackson in the weeks following the incident.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.