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Normative Theories of the Media Cover

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Normative Theories of the Media

Journalism in Democratic Societies

Clifford G. Christians

Using Fred S. Siebert, Theodore Peterson, and Wilbur Schramm's classic Four Theories of the Press as their point of departure, the authors consider what the role of journalism ought to be in a democratic society. They examine the philosophical underpinnings and political realities of journalism, thereby identifying four distinct yet overlapping roles for the media: "monitorial," "facilitative," "radical," and "collaborative." Ultimately they show how these competing paradigms can affect the laws, policies, and public attitudes of a liberal society.

On the Condition of Anonymity Cover

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On the Condition of Anonymity

Unnamed Sources and the Battle for Journalism

Matt Carlson

Matt Carlson confronts the promise and perils of unnamed sources in this exhaustive analysis of controversial episodes in American journalism during the George W. Bush administration, from prewar reporting mistakes at the New York Times and Washington Post to the Valerie Plame leak case and Dan Rather's lawsuit against CBS News._x000B_ _x000B_Weaving a narrative thread that stretches from the uncritical post-9/11 era to the spectacle of the Scooter Libby trial, Carlson examines a tense period in American history through the lens of journalism. Revealing new insights about high-profile cases involving confidential sources, he highlights contextual and structural features of the era, including pressure from the right, scrutiny from new media and citizen journalists, and the struggles of traditional media to survive amid increased competition and decreased resources.

The Opinions of Mankind Cover

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The Opinions of Mankind

Racial Issues, Press, and Progaganda in the Cold War

Richard Lentz and Karla K. Gower

 

During the Cold War, the Soviets were quick to publicize any incident of racial hostility in the United States. Since violence by white Americans against minorities was the perfect foil to America’s claim to be defenders of freedom, news of these occurrences was exploited to full advantage by the Russians. But how did the Soviets gain primary knowledge of race riots in small American towns? Certainly, the Soviets had reporters stationed stateside, in big cities like New York, but research reveals that the majority of their information came directly from U.S. media sources.

 

 

             Throughout this period, the American press provided the foreign media with information about racially charged events in the United States. Such news coverage sometimes put Washington at a disadvantage, making it difficult for government officials to assuage foreign reactions to the injustices occurring on U.S. soil. Yet in other instances, the domestic press helped to promote favorable opinions abroad by articulating themes of racial progress. While still acknowledging racial abuses, these press spokesmen asserted that the situation in America was improving. Such paradoxical messages, both aiding and thwarting the efforts of the U.S. government, are the subject of The Opinions of Mankind: Racial Issues, Press, and Propaganda in the Cold War.

 

 

            The study, by scholars Richard Lentz and Karla K. Gower, describes and analyzes the news discourse regarding U.S. racial issues from 1946 to 1965. The Opinions of Mankind not only delves into the dissemination of race-related news to foreign outlets but also explores the impact foreign perceptions of domestic racism had on the U.S. government and its handling of foreign relations during the period. What emerges is an original, insightful contribution to Cold War studies. While other books examine race and foreign affairs during this period of American history, The Opinions of Mankind is the first to approach the subject from the standpoint of press coverage and its impact on world public opinion.

 

 

            This exhaustively researched and compellingly written volume will appeal to media scholars, political historians, and general readers alike. By taking a unique approach to the study of this period, The Opinions of Mankind presents the workings behind the battles for public opinion that took place between 1946 and 1965.

 

Out on Assignment Cover

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Out on Assignment

Newspaper Women and the Making of Modern Public Space

Alice Fahs

Newspaper women were part of a wave of women seeking new, independent, urban lives, but they struggled to obtain the newspaper work of their dreams. Although some female journalists embraced more adventurous reporting, including stunt work and undercover assignments, many were relegated to the women's page. However, these intrepid female journalists made the women's page their own. Fahs reveals how their writings--including celebrity interviews, witty sketches of urban life, celebrations of being bachelor girls, advice columns, and a campaign in support of suffrage--had far-reaching implications for the creation of new, modern public spaces for American women at the turn of the century. As observers and actors in a new drama of independent urban life, newspaper women used the simultaneously liberating and exploitative nature of their work, Fahs argues, to demonstrate the power of a public voice, both individually and collectively.

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Pen and Sword

American War Correspondents, 1898-1975

Mary S. Mander

Addressing the ever-changing, overlapping trajectories of war and journalism, this introduction to the history and culture of modern American war correspondence considers a wealth of original archival material. In powerful analyses of letters, diaries, journals, television news archives, and secondary literature related to the United States' major military conflicts of the twentieth century, Mary S. Mander highlights the intricate relationship of the postmodern nation-state to the free press and to the public._x000B__x000B_Pen and Sword: American War Correspondents, 1898-1975 situates war correspondence within the larger framework of the history of the printing press to make perceptive new points about the nature of journalism and censorship, the institution of the press as a source of organized dissent, and the relationship between the press and the military. Fostering a deeper understanding of the occupational culture of war correspondents who have accompanied soldiers into battle, Pen and Sword prompts new ways of thinking about contemporary military conflicts and the future of journalism.

The Pen Makes a Good Sword Cover

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The Pen Makes a Good Sword

John Forsyth of the Mobile Register

Written by Lonnie A. Burnett

This book is a biography of Alabama native John Forsyth Jr. and documents his career as a southern newspaper editor during the antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction periods. From 1837 to 1877 Forsyth wrote about many of the most important events of the 19th century. He used his various positions as an editor, Civil War field correspondent, and Reconstruction critic at the MobileRegister to advocate on behalf of both the South and the Democratic Party.
 
In addition, Forsyth played an active role in the events taking place around him through his political career, as United States Minister to Mexico, state legislator, Confederate Peace Commissioner to the Lincoln administration, staff officer to Braxton Bragg, and twice mayor of the city of Mobile.

 

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The Press and Race

Mississippi Journalists Confront the Movement

David R. Davies

For southern newspapers and southern readers, the social upheaval in the years following Brown v. Board of Education (1954) was, as Time put it in 1956, "the region's biggest running story since slavery." The southern press struggled with the region's accommodation of the school desegregation ruling and with black America's demand for civil rights.

The nine essays in The Press and Race illuminate the broad array of print journalists' responses to the civil rights movement in Mississippi, a state that was one of the nation's major civil rights battlegrounds. Three of the journalists covered won Pulitzer prizes for their work and one was the first woman editorial writer to earn that coveted prize.

The journalists and editors covered are Hodding Carter, Jr. (Greenville Delta Democrat-Times), J. Oliver Emmerich (McComb Enterprise-Journal), Percy Greene (Jackson Advocate), Ira B. Harkey, Jr. (Pascagoula Chronicle), George A. McLean (Tupelo Journal), Bill Minor (New Orleans Times-Picayune), Hazel Brannon Smith (Lexington Adviser), and Jimmy Ward (Jackson Daily News). Their editorial stances run the gamut from moderates such as Minor, Smith, and Carter, Jr., to openly segregationist editors such as Ward and Greene.

The Press and Race follows the press from the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision to 1965, when Congress passed the Voting Rights Act. Those years saw some of the most important events of the civil rights movement-the South's resistance to school desegregation throughout the 1950s and 1960s; the Freedom Rides of 1961; James Meredith's admission into the University of Mississippi in 1962; the assassination of Medgar Evers in 1963; and the events of Freedom Summer in 1964. These essays present an in-depth analysis of the editorials, articles, journalistic standards, and work of Mississippi newspaper reporters and editors as they covered this tumultuous era in American history.

While a handful of Mississippi journalists openly defended blacks and challenged the state's racial policies, others responded by redoubling their support of Mississippi's segregated society. Still others responded with a moderate defense of black Americans' legal rights, while at the same time defending the status quo of segregation.

The Press and Race reveals the outrage, emotion, and deliberation of the people who would soon be carrying out the nation's command to end segregation. The journalists discussed here were southerners and insiders in a crisis. Their writing made journalism history.

David R. Davies is chair of the department of journalism at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. A former reporter for the Arkansas Gazette, he has been published in American Journalism, the Chicago Tribune, and the Journal of Mississippi History.

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Promoting the War Effort

Robert Horton and Federal Propaganda, 1938-1948

Mordecai Lee

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.

Pulitzer's Gold Cover

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Pulitzer's Gold

Behind the Prize for Public Service Journalism

Roy J. Harris, Jr.

No journalism awards are awaited with as much anticipation as the Pulitzer Prizes. Andamong those Pulitzers, none is more revered than the Joseph Pulitzer Gold Medal.
 
Pulitzer’s Gold is the first book to trace the ninety-year history of the coveted Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, awarded annually to a newspaper rather than to individuals, in the form of that Gold Medal. Exploring this service-journalism legacy, Roy Harris recalls dozens of “stories behind the stories,” often allowing the journalists involved to share their own accounts. Harris takes his Gold Medal saga through two world wars, the Great Depression, the civil rights struggle, and the Vietnam era before bringing public-service journalism into a twenty-first century that includes 9/11, a Catholic Church scandal, and corporate exposés. Pulitzer’s Gold offers a new way of looking at journalism history and practice and a new lens through which to view America’s own story.

Reading for Liberalism Cover

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Reading for Liberalism

The Overland Monthly and the Writing of the Modern American West

Stephen J. Mexal

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. 

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