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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.
Behind the Prize for Public Service Journalism
The Overland Monthly and the Writing of the Modern American West
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.
Metropolitan Journalism in the Digital Age
Breaking down the walls of the traditional newsroom, Rebuilding the News traces the evolution of news reporting as it moves from print to online. As the business models of newspapers have collapsed, author C. W. Anderson chronicles how bloggers, citizen journalists, and social networks are implicated in the massive changes confronting journalism.
Through a combination of local newsroom fieldwork, social-network analysis, and online archival research, Rebuilding the News places the current shifts in news production in socio-historical context. Focusing on the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, Anderson presents a gripping case study of how these papers have struggled to adapt to emerging economic, social, and technological realities.
As he explores the organizational, networked culture of journalism, Anderson lays bare questions about the future of news-oriented media and its evolving relationship with “the public” in the digital age.
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.
From the Founding Fathers to the Modern Table
The Search for Good Wine is a highly entertaining and informative book on all aspects of wine and its consumption by nationally-syndicated wine columnist John Hailman, author of the critically-acclaimed Thomas Jefferson on Wine (2006). Hailman explores the wine-drinking experiences and tastes of famous wine-lovers from jolly Ben Franklin and the surprisingly enthusiastic George Washington to Julius Caesar, Sherlock Holmes, and Ernest Hemingway among numerous other famous figures. Hailman also recounts in fascinating detail the exotic life of the founder of the California wine industry, Hungarian Agoston Haraszthy, who introduced Zinfandel to the U.S.
Hailman gives calm and reliable guidance on how to deal with snobby wine waiters and how to choose the best wine books and travel guides. He simplifies the ABCs of wine-grape types from the delicate pinot noirs of Oregon to the robust malbecs of Argentina and from the vibrant new whites of Spain to the great reds (old and new) of Italy. The entire book is dedicated to finding values in wine. As Hailman says, "Everyone always wants to know one basic thing: How can you get the best possible wine for the lowest possible price?" His new book is highly practical and effective in answering that eternal question and many more about wine.
A judge at the top international wine competitions for over thirty years, Hailman examines those experiences and the value of "blind" tastings. He gives insightful tips on how to select a good wine store, how to decipher wine labels and wine lists, and even how to extract unruly champagne corks without crippling yourself or others. Hailman simplifies wine jargon and effectively demystifies the culture of wine fascination, restoring the consumption of wine to the natural pleasure it really should be.