Interview with Craig Rains
QUESTION 14
INTERVIEWER:

HOW IMPORTANT WERE THE NEWS MEDIA IN THIS CRISIS, AND WHAT WERE THEIR ROLES?

Craig Rains:

I've thought a lot about that through the years. I'm in public relations, and I teach journalism at a black college, here in Little Rock, at night. The thing — I was really upset then. The idea of the liberal eastern press was very evident, to me, as far as I could tell. I really didn't feel like that a balanced story was being given. Throughout the whole year, I — Dr. Benjamin Fine, who was the education editor for the New York Times, was down, and spent a good deal of time here. But I felt like his — his reporting was slanted toward the black viewpoint. And I felt like the moderate white students, who were there for an education, whether it was racially mixed or segregated, their story was never told, to any degree. The sensationalism, of the violence, the sensationalism of federal versus states' rights, these things were uppermost in their minds, and the little — the little people, the students got left behind. There was a great cartoon, editorial cartoon, by the late John Kennedy, in the Arkansas Democrat, in which he showed the students being pulled, in every direction, by a number of different things that went on during this time. That recognized where we were, but in terms of our story being told, on a national level, I don't think it ever was.