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How the Music Industry's War on Sharing Destroys Markets and Erodes Civil Liberties
In the decade and a half since Napster first emerged, forever changing the face of digital culture, the claim that “internet pirates killed the music industry” has become so ubiquitous that it is treated as common knowledge. Piracy is a scourge on legitimate businesses and hard-working artists, we are told, a “cybercrime” similar to identity fraud or even terrorism. In The Piracy Crusade, Aram Sinnreich critiques the notion of “piracy” as a myth perpetuated by today’s cultural cartels—the handful of companies that dominate the film, software, and especially music industries. As digital networks have permeated our social environment, they have offered vast numbers of people the opportunity to experiment with innovative cultural and entrepreneurial ideas predicated on the belief that information should be shared widely. This has left the media cartels, whose power has historically resided in their ability to restrict the flow of cultural information, with difficult choices: adapt to this new environment, fight the changes tooth and nail, or accept obsolescence. Their decision to fight has resulted in ever stronger copyright laws and the aggressive pursuit of accused infringers. Yet the most dangerous legacy of this “piracy crusade” is not the damage inflicted on promising start-ups or on well-intentioned civilians caught in the crosshairs of file-sharing litigation. Far more troubling, Sinnreich argues, are the broader implications of copyright laws and global treaties that sacrifice free speech and privacy in the name of combating the phantom of piracy—policies that threaten to undermine the foundations of democratic society.
Ameryka-Echo and the Public Role of the Immigrant Press
Arriving in the U.S. in 1883, typesetter Antoni A. Paryski founded a publishing empire that earned him the nickname "The Polish Hearst." His weekly Ameryka-Echo became a defining publication in the international Polish diaspora and its much-read letters section a public sphere for immigrants to come together as a community to discuss issues in their own language. Anna D. Jaroszyńska-Kirchmann mines seven decades' worth of thoughts expressed by Ameryka-Echo readers to chronicle the ethnic press's long-overlooked role in the immigrant experience. Open and unedited debate harkened back to homegrown journalistic traditions, and The Polish Hearst opens the door on the nuances of an editorial philosophy that cultivated readers as important content creators. As Jaroszyńska-Kirchmann shows, ethnic publications in the process forged immigrant social networks and pushed notions of education and self-improvement throughout Polonia.
Mississippi Journalists Confront the Movement
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.
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.
How the Kerner Commission Changed Media Coverage of Black America
On July 28, 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson established the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders to investigate the causes of unrest in urban black communities during the 1960s. Chaired by Illinois governor Otto Kerner Jr., the commission ominously warned, “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.” And it aimed its sharpest criticism at the mainstream media, concluding: “The press has too long basked in a white world, looking out of it, if at all, with white men’s eyes and a white perspective.” Major news media responded by expanding and diversifying their coverage of black communities and increasing the number of African Americans in their newsrooms. Although much has been written about the Kerner Commission, the analysis has focused primarily on its affect on the American press. In The Riot Report and the News, Thomas J. Hrach instead explores how the commission came to its conclusions, in order to understand why and how its report served as a catalyst for change. Hrach finds that such government criticism of the media can have a long-term and positive influence on the nation, an insight that remains important as the news continues to struggle with how to cover issues of race.
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.