Movement Counterattack


Fifth Estate # 94, December 11-24, 1969

Part of American Revolutionary Media / Detroit insert

Last summer, after beating a 13-month strike by its employees, the Booth family’s Detroit News returned to its standard racist and reactionary distorted news practices. The response of the white and Black movements was the total boycott declared below. But as, we all know, it is not just the News which distorts information to the people at the source, nor just the Booth newspapers, TV and radio stations which hold the people down by denying them full and accurate information about their place in the world, and what people are doing to change the world—it is the entire spectrum of the power structure media. Until the movement stops cooperating with the power structure media in the naive confidence that it is WE who will be using THEM, and until the people act on their knowledge that “you can’t believe what you read in the newspapers,” or hear on radio or see on television, our image of the world and ourselves will depend on the power-structure’s definitions, and we will never be free.


The undersigned organizations and individuals will not knowingly give statements, interviews or press releases to the Detroit News (or its affiliated TV and radio stations). Persons identifying themselves as agents of the Detroit News will not be granted admission to meetings, press conferences, or events of which the undersigned are sponsors.

Let it be known that henceforth, “news” stories appearing in the News about any of the undersigned organizations and individuals or their activities will be based on information obtained in one or more of the following ways:

Deceit: The News may obtain information by lying about who they are.

Hearsay: They may pick up stories from other, second-hand sources.

General Public Knowledge: The News can masquerade as part of the public and acquire information about events available to any citizen who witnessed events such as public meetings, demonstrations, etc.

It is important that the reasons behind this declaration be understood. They are simple.

As self-appointed spokesmen for the power structure of which they are a part, the Detroit News in its so-called news coverage, its editorial stance and its relations to its own employees and the community is anti-black, anti-woman, anti-worker, anti-youth, -anti-democratic, anti-progress and anti-self-determination.

Secondly and more specifically, it is a waste of time to talk to a Detroit News reporter. They do not have any control whatsoever over what finally appears in the newspaper. The more sympathetic they are, the more closely they are supervised and the less control they have over their material.

In other words, it would be silly and stupid for us to continue to lend the illusion of legitimacy and credibility to the News “coverage” of our efforts to change the existing political economic and social order. The fact that a tiny group of white men, through inherited wealth and power acquire control over the means of communication does not give them the right to foist their opinions on all the people in the guise of “objective truth.”

Let the public be informed. Any information appearing in the Detroit News henceforth should be considered one-sided and unreliable. If you read the News you don’t know—because they don’t know.”

Detroit Area People Against Racism

National Organizing Committee Ad Hoc Action Group, Citizens of Detroit

Youth for Peace, Freedom and Justice

The Fifth Estate

Women’s Liberation

Michigan Regional SDS

Detroit Newsreel