Making a Change: Media Literacy

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Headlines and Heresy: Investigating the Free Press

"The Press, Watson, is a most valuable institution, if you only know how to use it."
— Sherlock Holmes, in "The Adventures of the Six Napoleons" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Welcome! Use this map to explore bias in the media. See how geography, social and political values, economics and history affected newspapers' exercise of freedom of the press. What can you discover about the press during the civil rights movement?

  • Click on a year to see multiple front pages about a major civil rights story.
  • Click on a pin on the map to jump to the newspaper from that city, or scroll down in the column on the right to browse all of the front pages.
  • Read descriptions of each newspaper in the right-hand column to learn about their histories and audiences.
  • Click on "view larger image" in the right-hand column to read each front page.
  • Find evidence of the effects of each newspaper's history and location on the civil rights story, and consider how their reports may have influenced public opinion about the civil rights movement. Then learn how to submit your own civil rights news stories.
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