Author

Baxter

Date of Award

8-2003

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Gunther Hega

Second Advisor

Dr. Brian Schaffner

Third Advisor

Dr. Sushi Datta-Sandhu

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Mitch Kachun

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

The issue of creating and promoting justice is becoming more and more significant in our era of democratization. Thus it is important to understand how countries as diverse as South Africa, Germany and the United States have managed to address the issue of providing justice to groups that suffered under previous regimes in these countries. I examine victims’ groups as diverse as former Japanese American internees, ex-German slave and forced laborers, and black South Africans. My hypothesis in this study is that two factors, the media and public education through quasi-legal commissions are critical for redress campaigns to be visible, completed, and remembered in societies. The media and investigatory commissions are mainly responsible for creating and promoting justice. In examining these cases, I am applying a multiple comparative case study approach, in order to learn the degree of the media’s role in informing the public about historical injustice. I examined three major national newspapers from each country and found that public education played varying roles: liberating the victims, legitimizing their claims, or memorializing their suffering throughout these campaigns.

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