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John Forsyth of the Mobile Register
Robert Horton and Federal Propaganda, 1938-1948
Though historians have largely overlooked Robert Horton, his public relations campaigns remain fixed in popular memory of the home front during World War II. Utilizing all media—including the nascent technology of television—to rally civilian support, Horton’s work ranged from educational documentary shorts like Pots to Planes, which depicted the transformation of aluminum household items into aircraft, to posters employing scare tactics, such as a German soldier with large eyes staring forward with the tagline “He’s Watching You.” Iconic and calculated, Horton’s campaigns raise important questions about the role of public relations in government agencies. When are promotional campaigns acceptable? Does war necessitate persuasive communication? What separates information from propaganda? Promoting the War Effort traces the career of Horton—the first book-length study to do so—and delves into the controversies surrounding federal public relations. A former reporter, Horton headed the public relations department for the U.S. Maritime Commission from 1938 to 1940. Then—until Pearl Harbor in December 1941—he directed the Division of Information (DOI) in the Executive Office of the President, where he played key roles in promoting the New Deal, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s unprecedented third-term reelection campaign, and the prewar arms-production effort. After Pearl Harbor, Horton’s DOI encouraged support for the war, primarily focusing on raising civilian and workforce morale. But the DOI under Horton assumed a different wartime tone than its World War I predecessor, the Committee on Public Information. Rather than whipping up prowar hysteria, Horton focused on developing campaigns for more practical purposes, such as conservation and production. In mid-1942, Roosevelt merged the Division and several other agencies into the Office of War Information. Horton stayed in government, working as the PR director for several agencies. He retired in mid-1946, during the postwar demobilization. Promoting the War Effort recovers this influential figure in American politics and contributes to the ongoing public debate about government public relations during a time when questions about how facts are disseminated—and spun—are of greater relevance than ever before.
Founded in 1868, the Overland Monthly was a San Francisco–based literary magazine whose mix of humor, pathos, and romantic nostalgia for a lost frontier was an immediate sensation on the East Coast. Due in part to a regional desire to attract settlers and financial investment, the essays and short fiction published in the Overland Monthly often portrayed the American West as a civilized evolution of, and not a savage regression from, eastern bourgeois modernity and democracy.
Stories about the American West have for centuries been integral to the way we imagine freedom, the individual, and the possibility for alternate political realities. Reading for Liberalism examines the shifting literary and narrative construction of liberal selfhood in California in the late nineteenth century through case studies of a number of western American writers who wrote for the Overland Monthly, including Noah Brooks, Ina Coolbrith, Bret Harte, Jack London, John Muir, and Frank Norris, among others. Reading for Liberalism argues that Harte, the magazine’s founding editor, and the other members of the Overland group critiqued and reimagined the often invisible fabric of American freedom. Reading for Liberalism uncovers and examines in the text of the Overland Monthly the relationship between wilderness, literature, race, and the production of individual freedom in late nineteenth-century California.
An essential reference for journalists, activists, and students, this book presents scientifically accurate and accessible overviews of 24 of the most important issues in the nuclear realm, including: • health effects • nuclear safety and engineering • TMI and Chernobyl • nuclear medicine • food irradiation • transport of nuclear materials • spent fuel • nuclear weapons • global warming. Each “brief” is based on interviews with named scientists, engineers, or administrators in a nuclear specialty, and each has been reviewed by a team of independent experts. The objective is not to make a case for or against nuclear-related technologies, but rather to provide definitive background information. (The approach is based on that of The Reporter’s Environmental Handbook, published in 1988, which won a special award for journalism from the Sigma Delta Chi Society of professional journalists.) Other features of the book include: • a glossary of hundreds of terms • an introduction to risk assessment, environmental and economic impacts, and public perceptions • an article by an experienced reporter with recommendations about how to cover nuclear issues • quick guides to the history of nuclear power in the United States, important federal legislation and regulations, nuclear position statements, and key organizations • print and electronic resources.
The Evolution of a Southern Reporter
From a gullible cub reporter with the Daily Herald in Biloxi and Gulfport, to the pugnacious Pulitzer Prize winner at the Atlanta Constitution, to the peerless beat reporter for the Los Angeles Times covering civil rights in the South, Jack Nelson (1929-2009) was dedicated to exposing injustice and corruption wherever he found it. Whether it was the gruesome conditions at a twelve-thousand-bed mental hospital in Georgia or the cruelties of Jim Crow inequity, Nelson proved himself to be one of those rare reporters whose work affected and improved thousands of lives.His memories about difficult circumstances, contentious people, and calamitous events provide a unique window into some of the most momentous periods in southern and U.S. history. Wherever he landed, Nelson found the corruption others missed or disregarded. He found it in lawless Biloxi; he found it in buttoned-up corporate Atlanta; he found it in the college town of Athens, Georgia. Nelson turned his investigations of illegal gambling, liquor sales, prostitution, shakedowns, and corrupt cops into such a trademark that honest mayors and military commanders called on him to expose miscreants in their midst.Once he realized that segregation was another form of corruption, he became a premier reporter of the civil rights movement and its cast of characters, including Martin Luther King Jr., Stokely Carmichael, Alabama's Sheriff Jim Clarke, George Wallace, and others. He was, through his steely commitment to journalism, a chronicler of great events, a witness to news, a shaper and reshaper of viewpoints, and indeed one of the most important journalists of the twentieth century.
In an age before radio and television, E. W. Scrippss ownership of twenty-one newspapers, a major news wire service, and a prominent news syndication service represented the first truly national media organization in the United States. In The Scripps Newspapers Go to War, 1914-18, Dale Zacher details the scope, organization, and character of the mighty Scripps empire during World War I to reveal how_x000B_the pressures of the market, government censorship, propaganda,_x000B_and progressivism transformed news coverage during wartime._x000B__x000B_This volume presents the first systematic look at the daily operations of any major newspaper operation during World War I and provides fascinating accounts of how the papers struggled with competition, their patriotic duties, and internal editorial dissent. The book also engages questions about American neutrality and the newspapers relationship with President Woodrow Wilson, the move to join the war, and the fallout from the disillusionment of actually experiencing war. Ultimately, Zacher shows how the progressive spirit and political independence at the Scripps newspapers came under attack and was forever changed by this crucial period in American history.
Celebrity, Controversy, and a Student Journalism Revolution
During the last decade or so, college newspaper sex columns and campus sex magazines have revolutionized student journalism and helped define a new sexual generation. Sex and the University explores the celebrity status that student sex columnists and magazine editors have received, the controversies they have caused, and the sexual generation and student journalism revolution they represent. Complete with a "sexicon" of slang, this book also dives into the columns and magazines themselves, sharing for the first time what modern students are saying about their sex and love lives, in their own words.
A Brief History of the Prisoners’ Digest International
The final book in the groundbreaking Voices from the Underground series, Stop the Presses! I Want to Get Off!, is the inspiring, frenetic, funny, sad, always-cash-starved story of Joe Grant, founder and publisher of Prisoners’ Digest International, the most important prisoners’ rights underground newspaper of the Vietnam era. From Grant’s military days in pre-Revolutionary Cuba during the Korean War, to his time as publisher of a pro-union newspaper in Cedar Rapids and his eventual imprisonment in Leavenworth, Kansas, Grant’s personal history is a testament to the power of courage under duress. One of the more notorious federal penitentiaries in the nation, Leavenworth inspired Grant to found PDI in an effort to bring hope to prisoners and their families nationwide.
The Life and Times of George McLean, a Most Peculiar Newspaper Publisher
In 1924, George McLean, an Ole Miss sophomore and the spoiled son of a judge, attended a YMCA student mission conference whose free-thinking organizers aimed to change the world. They changed George McLean's.
But not instantly. As vividly recounted in the first biography of this significant figure in Southern history, Tupelo Man: The Life and Times of a Most Peculiar Newspaper Publisher, McLean drifted through schools and jobs, always questioning authority, always searching for a way to put his restless vision into practical use. In the Depression's depths, he was fired from a teaching job at what is now Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, over his socialist ideas and labor organizing work.
By 1934 he decided he had enough of working for others and that he would go into business for himself. In dirt-poor Northeast Mississippi, the Tupelo Journal was for sale, and McLean used his wife's money to buy what he called "a bankrupt newspaper from a bankrupt bank." As he struggled to keep the paper going, his Christian socialism evolved into a Christian capitalism that transformed the region. He didn't want a bigger slice of the pie for himself, he said; he wanted a bigger pie for all.
But McLean (1904-1983) was far from a saint. He prayed about his temper, with little result. He was distant and aloof toward his two children--adopted through a notorious Memphis baby selling operation. His wife, whom he deeply loved in his prickly way, left him once and threatened to leave again. "I don't know why I was born with this chip on my shoulder," he told her. Tupelo Man looks at this far-from-ordinary publisher in an intimate way that offers a fascinating story and insight into our own lives and times.
Whatever Happened to the Washington Reporters, 19782012, is the first book to comprehensively examine career patterns in American journalism.
In 1978 Brookings Senior Fellow Stephen Hess surveyed 450 journalists who were covering national government for U.S. commercial news organizations. His study became the award-winning The Washington Reporters (Brookings, 1981), the first volume in his Newswork series. Now, a generation later, Hess and his team from Brookings and the George Washington University have tracked down 90 percent of the original group, interviewing 283, some as far afield as France, England, Italy, and Australia.
What happened to the reporters within their organizations? Did they change jobs? Move from reporter to editor or producer? Jump from one type of medium to another from print to TV? Did they remain in Washington or go somewhere else? Which ones left journalism? Why? Where did they go?
A few of them have become quite famous, including television correspondents Ted Koppel, Sam Donaldson, Brit Hume, Carole Simpson, Judy Woodruff, and Marvin Kalb; some have become editors or publishers of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald, or Baltimore Sun; some have had substantial careers outside of journalism. Most, however, did not become household names.
The book is designed as a series of self-contained essays, each concentrating on one characteristic, such as age, gender, or place of employment, including newspapers, television networks, wire services, and niche publications. The reporters speak for themselves. When all of these lively portraits are analyzed one by one the results are surprisingly different from what journalists and sociologists in 1978 had predicted.
Praise for other books in the Newswork series:
International News and Foreign Correspondents
"It is not much in vogue to speak of things like the public trust, but thankfully Stephen Hess is old fashioned. He reminds us in this valuable and provocative book that journalism is a public trust, providing the basic information on which citizens in a democracy vote, or tune out." Ken Auletta, The New Yorker
"Regardless of one's view of American news media, one cannot help but be influenced by the information Stephen Hess puts forth in International News and Foreign Correspondents. After reading this book, it is not likely one will scan the newspaper or watch television news in the same way again." International Affairs Review
"Readers of all backgrounds will find this a provocative text." The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics
Live from Capitol Hill
"Hess is a treasure a Washington insider with a sharp sense of the important, the interesting, and the mythological. This book is essential reading for Hill practitioners, journalists, and scholars of Congress and the media." Steven S. Smith, Washington University
The Washington Reporters "A meticulously researched piece of anthropology that represents the first major look at the men and women who cover the government since Leo C. Rosten's classic 1937 book." Newsweek