December 2019


Volume 45, No. 4, December 2019

The December issue contains articles by Bailey Dick, Thomas Aiello, Mark D. Szuchman, and Melony Shemberger. Interested in reading these articles? Get information on subscribing here.

Article Abstracts

“’Is It Not Possible to Be a Radical and a Christian?’: Dorothy Day’s Evolving Relationship with the Patriarchal Norms of Journalism and Catholicism,” Bailey Dick (Podcast)
Journalist and Catholic activist Dorothy Day demonstrated her values through both actions with radical groups outside the conventional structures and norms for women of her time at the beginning of her career, and later through the small, quiet, daily acts of radicalism. As this article shows, through her leveraging and adherence to traditions and teachings, Day was able to access male-dominated spaces, gain legitimacy within the patriarchal structures, and later share her more radical, yet faithful, beliefs with readers and the Church to create change from within both the Church and the newspaper industry. Through an analysis of Day’s personal papers, news articles, and memoirs, this article examines the way Day’s experience as a journalist shaped her writing, activism, personal interactions, and understanding of the world.

“The Reluctant African: The Foreign Policy Journalism of Louis Lomax, 1960–1968,” Thomas Aiello (Research Essay)
Louis Lomax was a popular public figure in the 1960s who is often relegated to tertiary status in historical accounts of both civil rights and its foreign policy outgrowths. He was the writer and reporter for Malcolm X’s introduction to the nation, The Hate That Hate Produced, co-producing the documentary with Mike Wallace. Lomax was the first black man with a syndicated television talk show, an author of several books, a journalist, and a publicity-seeking provocateur who did what he could during the decade to both report the news and to keep himself in it. His work, though often passed over in historical treatments, was read and discussed openly. His books were bestsellers. His opinions changed minds, and many of his opinions concerned foreign policy. His work was built most consistently on opposition to colonialism. Like black nationalists, Lomax saw the United States as part of the broader imperialist problem and did occasionally make a comparative American race analysis when dealing in foreign lands, but like George Washington Williams in the Belgian Congo, he more often sought to interpret foreign political actors on their own merits and within their specific contexts. The problem for Lomax was that as a freelance journalist without any real foreign policy expertise, that understanding was necessarily going to be filtered through his own racial experience, whether intentional or not, and his coverage was going to lack the nuance of those who studied the various regions more intently and for longer periods of time.

“Fighting Words in an Angry Democracy: The Press in Revolutionary Buenos Aires, 1810–1820,” Mark D. Szuchman
This article explores the political press in Buenos Aires during the revolutionary decade of 1810–1820. Using texts from the most important newspapers of the era, it analyzes the evolution of discursive strategies through which vital political issues reached the public. Concepts such as liberty, nation, governance, and sovereignty shifted meanings in the course of an increasingly divisive and violent political arena. The growing tensions between government authorities and journalists resonated with the ambivalence of positions taken on fundamental political rights, including freedom of the press.

“Southern Education Report: An Examination of a Magazine’s Contribution to Education News in the Civil Rights Era,” Melony Shemberger (Teaching Essay)
This article explores the magazine Southern Education Report, a bi-monthly magazine once published by the former Southern Education Reporting Service, a Nashville-based nonprofit news service established under a grant to report the methods that schools would use to end segregation. Given the magazine’s pursuit of post-desegregation stories against the landscape of education reporting, this article suggests that the Southern Education Report covered education news that the mainstream media failed to pursue in the civil rights era.