How Did The Media Influence Martin Luther King Jr

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Media influenced King and SCLC’s decision to go to Selma. Following the media success of the “I Have a Dream” speech, Martin Luther King Jr. and the SCLC started looking for a new place to launch their campaign for voting rights. They wanted a place that garnished the most media attention and accessible to news reporters, and Selma could not provided the movement with either. Andrew Young, SCLC's executive director recalls how they were “leery of organizing in small towns far from media and airports.” Young’s statement illustrates how important media was to Dr. King’s nonviolent campaigns. Without media, King’s ideology became mute and irrelevant. Although Selma did not allow for easy media access, it did provide the SCLC and Martin Luther King with a dramatic scene that the news media could turn into a media event. Ankio…show more content…
The situation in Selma provided King and the SCLC with a villain versus hero plot that seemed to come straight from Hollywood. In a letter addressed to the editor of the Washington Post, James P. Davis a concerned citizen who witnessed the events of bloody Sunday on television unintentionally juxtaposed an evil versus innocent mentality into what he witnessed. He mentions the police several times as “blood thirsty” and the protesters as innocent. The appeal of a ready-made storyline drew King to Selma. Unfortunately, even with the story line plot that Selma provided King’s faith in Selma ability to make nightly news wane.
Media influenced Kings and the SCLC’s decisions at the beginning of the Selma Voting Rights movement, but Malcolm X’s visit to Selma helped the movement gain national attention.
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