Media Lessons From The Past To Consider In Coverage Of The Modern American Nazi Movement

Ku Klux Klan parade, Washington, D.C., in 1926. ( National Photo Company Collection / Wikimedia Commons )

On The Media (3/2/18)

In the 1920s, the Second Klan exploded across the nation, thanks in part to the amount of media coverage it was receiving. Heated debates ensued about how the media should cover the Klan: whether they should treat it neutrally and risk normalizing it or denounce it constantly and risk losing readers and drawing the Klan’s ire, or whether they should be covering it at all. Sound familiar?

Dr. Felix Harcourt is a professor of history at Austin College and author of “Ku Klux Kulture: America and the Klan in the 1920s.” Last year, he wrote a piece for Black Perspectives titled, “The Black Press and the Ku Klux Klan,” in which he examined the competing narratives over how best to approach the KKK. The Guardian US‘s Lois Beckett speaks with Dr. Harcourt about the saga and what, if anything, the media learned.

Link to Story and 9-Minute Audio