chapter  4
22 Pages

News and the Movement: Newspapers and Ideas in the Chicano Movement

This chapter will examine the role of print media by considering the development of alternative newspapers as an outgrowth and defi ning component of the Chicano Movement. In much the same way that local militants sought control of the schools, the creation of cooperatives and credit unions, a political voice, and alternatives to gang life and an end to police brutality, the variety of activist centers of the Chicano Movement also engaged in the production of cultural, political, and informational media through the creation of a movement-driven press. The newspapers established were often the work of a small cadre of committed activists who reported on local news, politics, education, and culture, and reprinted national items from national Chicano leaders, journalists, and eventually the Chicano Press Association (CPA). The Chicano newspapers established in the 1960s and 1970s included weekly, quarterly, and other publications that served a variety of Chicano communities large and small. Some were neighborhood or campus papers that covered the minute details of local Chicano politics, while others highlighted poetry, art, the farm workers movement, politics, or the academic issues of the modern university. The chapter begins with an exploration of ethnic newspapers in America, the Mexican American press, and the underground and counterculture press as antecedents. The chapter then details the main development of the Chicano newspaper movement, the founding of the CPA, and the role the press played in building a movement culture, exploring and defi ning Chicano identity, as well as revealing and giving voice to Chicana women’s issues. In many ways, the Chicano press was the primary educational and propaganda vehicle for the Chicano Movement nationwide.