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Oral history interview with Doris Wooten Wesley [electronic resource], 1971.

Creator: Wesley, Doris Wooten
Project: Black Journalists Oral History Collection.
(see all project interviews)
Phys. Desc. :sound files : digital preservation master, WAV files (96kHz, 24 bit) Transcript: 57 pages
Location: Columbia Center for Oral History
Full CLIO record >>

Biographical Note

Doris Wooten Wesley was born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1902, and attended Texas College. A social worker, she served on the national board of the Y.W.C.A. [Young Women's Christian Association] for eighteen years. She was the publisher of the Houston Informer, succeeding her husband Carter Walker Wesley in this role.

Scope and Contents

Henry G. La Brie's 1971 interview with Doris Wooten Wesley begins with an overview of the narrator's education and professional experience. Next, La Brie asks how the social role of the black press has changed over the decades preceding the interview, what types of information readers want in newspaper stories, and the differences between the black and white press. The interview turns to the successes of the black press over the years. Next, they discuss the political role of the black press and how it reflects the needs of the African American community. Wesley describes the challenges facing black newspapers and tries to predict their future. La Brie asks about ownership of black newspapers, advertising in the black press, and white readership of the black media. Next, Wesley recounts her first experiences with the black press and opines on the importance of the various sections of a newspaper. They discuss the need for a national black news service; the scope of black newspapers (i.e., local, national, or international); and about the sensationalism of the black press. After La Brie asks if the black press is worth studying, the interview concludes with a discussion of how the white press has become more fair in covering minority issues since the Kerner Commission report.

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