Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Rural editor-publisher with racist writings is ejected from Maryland-D.C.-Delaware Press Assn. Hall of Fame

A rural journalist "who helped shape public opinion on Maryland’s Eastern Shore for decades during the mid-20th century has been stripped of one of the region’s top professional honors after a review of his work found writings that were 'viciously racist' and even promoted lynching," The Baltimore Sun reports.

The Maryland-D.C.-Delaware Press Association, which inducted Edward J. Clarke, the longtime owner and editor of the Worcester Democrat, into its Hall of Fame in 1954, "voted last week to terminate that honor after Gabriel Pietrorazio, a University of Maryland journalism student, brought to light editorials written by Clarke that likened the Black suspects in a 1940 homicide to 'a rabid dog,' 'a disease-spreading germ' and 'garbage'," the Sun's Jonathan Pitts reports.

"The work of Pietrorazio, a 23-year-old master’s degree student, is part of 'Printing Hate,' a collaborative research project at the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism," Pitts explains. "Journalism students from seven colleges and universities across the country are reviewing racist media coverage of the past as part of the project. The focus is on the years between the end of Reconstruction and the mid-20th century, a time when more than 5,000 people lost their lives in terror lynchings, most of them Black men and boys at the hands of white mobs, researchers say. Such research centers as the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, have shown in recent years that white-owned press outlets routinely played a role in encouraging the practice, either by displaying indifference toward its horrors or using the kind of biased and incendiary language that could foment violence."

Other schools participating are the University of Arkansas and five historically Black institutions: Morgan State University in Baltimore, Howard University in Washington, Hampton University in Virginia, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and Morehouse College in Atlanta. The effort has produced 30 investigative stories, which are posted twice a week on the Capital News Service’s Howard Center website, on the National Association of Black Journalists’ news site, and on Word in Black, a collaboration of prominent African American news publishers.

No comments: