© 2016

The Chicago Conspiracy Trial and the Press


About this book


This book analyzes the newspaper coverage of one of America’s most famous and dramatic trials–the trial of the “Chicago 8.” Covering a five month period from September 1969 to February 1970 the book considers the way eight radical activists including Black Panther leader Bobby Seale, antiwar activists Tom Hayden, David Dellinger, and Rennie Davis, and leading Yippies, Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin are represented in the press. How did the New York Times represent Judge Hoffman’s decision to chain and gag Bobby Seale in the courtroom for demanding his right to represent himself? To what extent did the press adequately describe the injustice visited on the defendants in the trial by the presiding Judge, Julius J Hoffman? The author aims to answer these questions and demonstrate the press’s reluctance to criticize Judge Hoffman in the case until the evidence of his misconduct of the trial became overwhelming.


Chicago Conspiracy trial press New York Times Bobby Seale Tom Hayden Black Panther Chicago 8 Political Communication

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of MelbournePrestonAustralia

About the authors

Nick Sharman teaches in the Media and Communications program at the University of Melbourne, Australia.  He obtained his PhD from Latrobe University, Australia.  His research focuses on media representations of American politics and protest.

Bibliographic information


“In his new book, The Chicago Conspiracy Trial And The Press, published by Palgrave/MacMillan Books, author Nick Sharman looks at how mainstream newspapers portrayed the trial. … this 250-page hardcover is obviously aimed at college libraries, academics and the like, but well worth seeking out for scholars of the era.” (Pat Thomas, Nightflight,, July, 2016)