Newspapers: Burying the Story

Chicago editors are understandably gun-shy when they have to handle a story of local racial violence. In 1919 a race riot lasting seven days resulted in 38 dead and 537 injured. At least 1,000 Chicagoans were left homeless. And for their sensational treatment of the affair, Chicago's editors earned a large share of the blame for unduly inflaming their town. In 1951, another brace of riots in bordering Cicero again raised head lines to fever pitch, and with the same result: public censure for the papers.

After that, Chicago newspapers be gan to tone down their stories of local racial incidents....

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