Media Bias, Perspective, and State Repression: The Black Panther Party
This book examines information reported within the media regarding the interaction between the Black Panther Party and government agents in the Bay Area of California (1967-1973). Christian Davenport argues that the geographic locale and political orientation of the newspaper influences how specific details are reported, including who starts and ends the conflict, who the Black Panthers target (government or non-government actors), and which part of the government responds (the police or court). Specifically, proximate and government-oriented sources provide one assessment of events, whereas proximate and dissident-oriented sources have another; both converge on specific aspects of the conflict. The methodological implications of the study are clear; Davenport's findings prove that in order to understand contentious events, it is crucial to understand who collects or distributes the information in order to comprehend who reportedly does what to whom as well as why.
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OBJECTIVITY AND SUBJECTIVITY IN EVENT
THE RASHOMON EFFECT OBSERVATION
UNDERSTANDING STATE REPRESSIVE BEHAVIOR
THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY VS THE UNITED
AN EVENT CATALOG OF DISSENT
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accounts actors Additionally African American agents approach arrest attention authority—oriented sources Barh Bay Area behavioral challenges behavioral threat Berkeley Barb Black Panther Party black power Bobby Seale BPINS BPP member BPP—authority Charles Tilly coercive conﬂict contentious politics court activity covered Davenport Dg Dg discussed dissident activity dissident behavior dissident—oriented sources diverse earlier effort engaged event catalogs event coverage example existing February 24 ﬁnd ﬁrst ﬁve focus focused highlight identiﬁed identify important inﬂuence interaction interested investigation involved newspapers Newton nonviolent November 19 number of events Oakland Tribune observers observers/recorders October 28 organization overlap paper period perspective police action police repression political authorities political orientation political—economic Press protest Rashomon Effect reﬂect relevant repression and dissent repression—days repressive action repressive behavior repressive events response revealed shootings signiﬁcant similar speciﬁc state—dissident stories Sun Reporter targets Tilly type of event understanding violent weeks York