Oral history interview with Robert M. Ratcliffe, 1971


Ratcliffe, Robert M (Interviewee)
La Brie, Henry G (Interviewer)
Oral history interview with Robert M. Ratcliffe, 1971
Other Titles
Reminiscences of Robert M. Ratcliffe : oral history, 1971
Henry G. La Brie's 1971 interview with Robert M. Ratcliffe begins with an overview of the narrator's experience with the black press. Ratcliffe then discusses the black press sensationalist reputation and the successes of the black press in integration and failures related to advertising. They discuss how the black press has changed, how it differs from the white press, and the specific ways it has helped African Americans. They then discuss the differences between the content of black newspapers in the North and South, with the coverage of the Emmett Till case as an example. Ratcliffe explains why there are relatively few black dailies and makes predictions about the future, including the prospects of a national black news service. The interview concludes with discussions of how black newspapers are financed, the most important section of a black newspaper, and the question of whether the mainstream press has become more representative.
Collection Name
Black Journalists oral history collection
Advertising--Newspapers; Journalism--Political aspects; Journalists; African Americans--Civil rights; African American press; African American journalists; Pittsburgh (Pa.); United States Race relations; Ratcliffe, Robert M; Pittsburgh courier
oral histories
Physical Description
1 sound file : WAV files (44 kHz, 16 bit); 36 pages
Note (Biographical)
Robert M. Ratcliffe was born in Memphis in 1911. A graduate of LeMoyne-Owen College, he worked as the editor of the Memphis World, a black weekly, and later wrote for the Atlanta Daily World. Later, he became the edition editor of the Pittsburgh Couri er. Eventually, he served as the director of public relations at LeMoyne-Owen College while continuing to work for black newspapers.
Note (Funding)
Digital reproduction funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Interviewed by Henry G. La Brie III on July 27, 1971.
Service copy (44 kHz, 16 bit) and rendered version (96 kHz, 24 bit) of sound file derived from a digital preservation master digitized at 96 kHz, 24 bit.
Note (Provenance)
Henry G. La Brie III Gift, 1975
Library Location
Columbia Center for Oral History, Columbia University
Browse Location’s Digital Content
Catalog Record
Also In
Oral History Archives at Columbia
Time-Based Media
Time-Based Media
Persistent URL
Related URLs
Available digital content for this interview.