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ISSN: 2165-7912

Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism
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Research Article

From Selma, Alabama, to Derry, Northern Ireland: Media Images and their Influence on Civil Rights Demonstrations

Bonnye Stuart*

Mass Communication & Journalism, Winthrop University, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Bonnye Stuart
Mass Communication & Journalism, Winthrop University, USA
Tel: +1-803-323-221
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: May 09, 2014; Accepted Date: June 20, 2014; Published Date: June 27, 2014

Citation: Stuart B (2014) From Selma, Alabama, to Derry, Northern Ireland: Media Images and their Influence on Civil Rights Demonstrations. J Mass Communicat Journalism 4:200. doi:10.4172/2165-7912.1000200

Copyright: © 2014 Stuart B. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Using Ball-Rokeach and DeFleur's Media System Dependency (MSD) theory that during times of conflict the public looks to the media to answer questions ease uncertainty and effect outcomes, this paper will analyze televised images of the U.S. Civil Rights movement and their impact on demonstrations during the Northern Ireland conflict. Matthew Loveless, discussing media effects, said, "The theory of media dependency states that for societies in states of crisis or instability, citizens are more reliant on mass media for information and as such are more susceptible to their effects." Douglas Blanks Hindman studying media system dependency before and after the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., cites Ball-Rokeach & DeFleur, saying, "The media system dependency model suggests that under conditions of ambiguity, as in the case of social system disruptions resulting from natural or human-made disasters, the mass media will become the public's primary information source, and media effects will become more pronounced." This paper will examine information dissemination (televised images of U.S. Civil Rights marches) as a source of power influencing public perception in Northern Ireland and showing street marches an effective form of demonstration, and will specifically focus on televised news coverage of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches and their influence on demonstrations in Northern Ireland, 1968-69. Marching as a demonstration technique, mediasavvy leaders and the singing of "We Shall Overcome" will be explored through documented news coverage and anecdotal research.

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