Constructing the Summer of Love: A Media Sensation
“The “Hashbury” is the new capital of what is rapidly becoming a drug culture. Its denizens are not called radicals or beatniks, but “hippies”- and perhaps as many as half are refugees from Berkeley and the old North Beach scene, the cradle and the casket of the so-called Beat Generation.” - Hunter S. Thompson, “The ‘Hashbury’ Is the Capital of the Hippies,” New York Times, May 14, 1967.
“Because the signals of the press were getting immaculate of political possibilities, the tensions of the District went unremarked upon, even during the period when there were so many observers on Haight Street from Life and Look and CBS that they were largely observing one another.” - Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, 1967.
REPRESENTING THE HAIGHT ACROSS AMERICA
Mainstream media coverage of the Haight Ashbury in the 1960s often sensationalized the nonconforming characteristics of the hippie scene. These stories inspired thousands of young people to visit the San Francisco in 1967, thus creating the Summer of Love.
The 1960s also witnessed the development of the “New Journalism” style of immersive reporting, as well as a proliferation of underground media outlets in the Bay Area.