Oral history interview with Joel Smith, 1971.
Born in South Carolina in 1906, Joel Smith was a senior reporter for the Atlanta Daily World. He was educated at Morris Brown College in Atlanta. He worked as a high school teacher, for the Department of Labor, and for Bell Aircraft.
Scope and Contents
Joel Smith begins this 1971 interview by outlining his personal and professional background. La Brie proceeds to ask about the differences between black and white newspapers. Smith discusses the successes and failures of the black press over time and about its future prospects. La Brie asks how the black press has changed and about its sensationalist reputation. Smith explains how he relies on diverse news sources to understand current events and the black press' unique ability to interpret them. The conversation turns to a comparison between the black and establishment press. La Brie asks how the United States would be different without the black press and about its changing social role. They discuss why there are relatively few black newspapers. La Brie asks about the need for a national black news service and what section is, in his view, the most important. The interview concludes with a discussion of whether the mainstream press has become more representative in its coverage of minority affairs.