Interview with Jan Robertson
QUESTION 11
INTERVIEWER:

UM, LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT THE NEWSMEN COVERING THE MEREDITH CASE, YOU, YOU TOLD US A STORY ABOUT A FLAG INCIDENT, I THINK I'D LIKE TO HEAR AND WHAT YOU THINK THAT SAYS ABOUT THE…

Jan Robertson:

I was, uh, I was very impressed with the number of the newsmen who came to cover it, but I was also very upset by some of the actions of some of the newsmen who were there. I think some of them, when there was no news wanted to create news and I saw one incident that I think would illustrate what I'm talking about. This was on one of the days that we were expecting the governor. And people were gathered in the circle outside the Lyceum and this flagpole that flies the American flag and um there were some students gathered around there and nothing was really going on. There hadn't been anything of a news nature and um, some of the reporters, there was a magazine reporter and there were I think some newspaper reporters had suggested to some of the students who were gathered around you know, why don't you pull down the flag and put up the confederate flag? And um, and some of them had reached to do that, had reached for the chain and uh, and were being encouraged and in fact there was a cameraman who was taking pictures and the vice-president of the student body, Gray Jackson and two or three student leaders came up to them and said don't do that, you know, don't, don't desecrate our flag and don't play into their hands, don't, don't create an image that's, you know that's not true of you know, of our students. And so they didn't do it and you could tell by the expressions of disgust on the faces of some of the newsmen they were really disappointed that they didn't and they just, they didn't have a story, and uh, I saw a lot of playing to stereotypes there instead of digging for the true story.