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The Essential Paul Simon Cover

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The Essential Paul Simon

Timeless Lessons for Today's Politics

Edited by John S. Jackson. Foreword by David Yepsen

One of the most admired public figures in Illinois’s history, journalist and politician Paul Simon dedicated his life to public service for more than four decades. During his lengthy and productive career, he often used his prolific writings as tools to establish a straightforward dialogue with his constituents. In The Essential Paul Simon: Timeless Lessons for Today’s Politics, editor John S. Jackson carefully selects the best of Simon’s decades of writings, which include newspaper columns, editorials, book chapters, and newsletters—works that, while written to address the challenges of Simon’s own era, still resonate with practical wisdom today. Jackson provides an introduction to each chapter, setting Senator Simon’s work into the context of its time and emphasizing the connection to today’s continuing political questions and conflicts.  He also contributes an annotated bibliography covering all of Paul Simon’s twenty-two books which will prove to be a handy guide to Simon’s publications.

While Simon covered a broad spectrum of topics in his written works, his mission throughout the years remained the same: to urge his constituents to study and understand issues that affected their daily lives and to make the complexities of politics accessible to the average citizen. An indispensable volume for voters and politicians alike, The Essential Paul Simon compiles some of the most thought-provoking writings from one of the keenest political minds in our nation’s history. Years after their publication, Simon’s eloquent and energetic conversations continue to provide witty, informative guidance through the maze of American politics and inspire the development of spirited public discussion and debate.

 

Esther's Town Cover

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Esther's Town

Deemer Lee

Esther's Town could be "Any Town, U.S.A.," for the equals of its cast of characters can be found in any small town. And here, as usual, was the town newspaper editor, the observing eye of all the foibles and peccadillos that form any town's history. Remembering all the years with love and humor, editor Deemer Lee chronicled the forty-four years he gathered and wrote news—forty-one of them as editor and publisher of his town's newspaper.

He dug into old records, recalled old times, and talked with old-timers. He illuminated the transition of a town, from Estherville’s pioneer settlement to the busy, active town it is today.

The excitement and fun begin with a story of bootleggers, Chautauqua meetings, and an accomplished arsonist—who achieves in less than two months the impressive score of burning seven barns and one feed store, with an unsuccessful attempt on the Methodist church. Scandinavians move in, build crude shelters for the first winter, and add their special characteristics to the town. The Irish arrive and stamp their mark on the whole territory. The circus comes to town and entrances everyone with its ancient pageantry. The railroads come through and add a rowdy element to the population. The Depression begins and farms see 11-cent corn, 108-degree heat, and a twister.

All these events, plus adventures with a massive meteorite and haunting river tragedies, create the drama and flow of small-town life, story by story, in a fascinating revelation of Americana. 

Ethical Communication Cover

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Ethical Communication

Moral Stances in Human Dialogue

Clifford G. Christians and John C. Merrill

Proponents of professional ethics recognize the importance of theory but also know that the field of ethics is best understood through real-world applications. This book introduces students and practitioners to important ethical concepts through the lives of major thinkers ranging from Aristotle to Ayn Rand, John Stuart Mill to the Dalai Lama.
            Some two dozen contributors approach media ethics from five perspectives—altruistic, egoistic, autonomous, legalist, and communitarian—and use real people as examples to convey ethical concepts as something more than mere abstractions. Readers see how Confucius represents group loyalty; Gandhi, nonviolent action; Mother Teresa, the spirit of sacrifice. Each profile provides biographical material, the individual’s basic ethical position and contribution, and insight into how his or her moral teachings can help the modern communicator. The roster of thinkers is gender inclusive, ethnically diverse, and spans a broad range of time and geography to challenge the misperception that moral theory is dominated by Western males.
            These profiles challenge us not to give up on moral thinking in our day but to take seriously the abundance of good ideas in ethics that the human race provides. They speak to real-life struggles by applying to such trials the lasting quality of foundational thought. Many of the root values to which they appeal are cross-cultural, even universal.
            Exemplifying these five ethical perspectives through more than two dozen mentors provides today’s communicators with a solid grounding of key ideas for improving discussion and attaining social progress in their lives and work. These profiles convey the diversity of means to personal and social betterment through worthwhile ideas that truly make ethics come alive.

 

Finley Peter Dunne and Mr. Dooley Cover

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Finley Peter Dunne and Mr. Dooley

The Chicago Years

Charles Fanning

Finley Peter Dunne, American journalist and humorist, is justly famous for his creation of Mr. Dooley, the Chicago Irish barkeep whose weekly commentary on national politics, war, and human nature kept Americans chuckling over their newspapers for nearly two decades at the beginning of this century. Largely forgotten in the files of Chicago newspapers, however, are over 300 Mr. Dooley columns written in the 1890s before national syndication made his name a household word. Charles Fanning offers here the first critical examination of these early Dooley pieces, which, far better than the later ones, reveal the depth and development of the character and his creator.

Dunne created in Mr. Dooley a vehicle for expressing his criticism of Chicago's corruption despite the conservatism of most of his publishers. Dishonest officials who could not be safely attacked in plain English could be roasted with impunity in the "pure Roscommon brogue" of a fictional comic Irishman. In addition, Dunne painted, through the observations of his comic persona, a vivid and often poignant portrait of the daily life of Chicago's working-class Irish community and the impact of assimilation into American life. He also offered cogent views of American urban political life, already dominated by the Irish as firmly in Chicago as in other large American cities, and of the tragicomic phenomenon of Irish nationalism.

Mr. Fanning's penetrating examination of these early Dooley pieces clearly establishes Dunne as far more than a mere humorist. Behind Mr. Dooley's marvelously comic pose and ironic tone lies a wealth of material germane to the social and literary history of turn-of-the century America.

The Fourth Enemy Cover

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The Fourth Enemy

Journalism and Power in the Making of Peronist Argentina, 1930–1955

James Cane

The rise of Juan Perón to power in Argentina in the 1940s is one of the most studied subjects in Argentine history. But no book before this has examined the role the Peronists’ struggle with the major commercial newspaper media played in the movement’s evolution, or what the resulting transformation of this industry meant for the normative and practical redefinition of the relationships among state, press, and public. In The Fourth Enemy, James Cane traces the violent confrontations, backroom deals, and legal actions that allowed Juan Domingo Perón to convert Latin America’s most vibrant commercial newspaper industry into the region’s largest state-dominated media empire. An interdisciplinary study drawing from labor history, communication studies, and the history of ideas, this book shows how decades-old conflicts within the newspaper industry helped shape not just the social crises from which Peronism emerged, but the very nature of the Peronist experiment as well.

From Pigeons to News Portals Cover

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From Pigeons to News Portals

Foreign Reporting and the Challenge of New Technology

David Perlmutter

Ever since the invention of the telegraph, journalists have sought to remove the barriers of time and space. Today, we readily accept that reporters can jet quickly to a distant location and broadcast instantly from a satellite-connected, video-enabled cell phone hanging from their belts. But now that live news coverage is possible from virtually anywhere, is foreign correspondence better? And what are the implications of recent changes in journalistic technology for policy makers and their constituents? In From Pigeons to News Portals, edited by David D. Perlmutter and John Maxwell Hamilton, scholars and journalists survey, probe, and demystify the new foreign correspondence that has emerged from rapidly changing media technology. These distinguished authors challenge long-held beliefs about foreign news coverage, not the least of which is whether, in our interconnected world, such a thing as "foreign news" even exists anymore. Essays explore the ways people have used new media technology--from satellites and cell phones to the Internet--to affect content, delivery modes, and amount and style of coverage. They examine the ways in which speedy reporting conflicts with in-depth reporting, the pros and cons of "parachute" journalism, the declining dominance of mainstream media as a source of foreign news, and the implications of this new foreign correspondence for foreign policy. Entertainment media such as film, television, and video gaming form worldwide opinions about America, often in negative ways. Meanwhile, live reporting abroad is both a blessing and curse for foreign policy makers. Because foreign news is so vital to effective policy making and citizenship, we imperil our future by failing to understand the changes technology brings and how we can wrest the best practice out of those changes. This provocative volume offers valuable insights and analyses to help us better understand the evolving state of foreign news.

From the Dance Hall to Facebook Cover

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From the Dance Hall to Facebook

Teen Girls, Mass Media, and Moral Panic in the United States, 1905-2010

Shayla Thiel-Stern

From the days of the penny press to the contemporary world of social media, journalistic accounts of teen girls in trouble have been a mainstay of the U.S. news media. Often the stories represent these girls as either victims or whores (and sometimes both), using journalistic storytelling devices and news-gathering practices that question girls’ ability to perform femininity properly, especially as they act in public recreational space. These media accounts of supposed misbehavior can lead to moral panics that then further silence the voices of teenagers and young women. In From the Dance Hall to Facebook, Shayla Thiel-Stern takes a close look at several historical snapshots, including working-class girls in dance halls of the early 1900s; girls’ track and field teams in the 1920s to 1940s; Elvis Presley fans in the mid-1950s; punk rockers in the late 1970s and early 1980s; and girls using the Internet in the early twenty-first century. In each case, issues of gender, socioeconomic status, and race are explored within their historical context. The book argues that by marginalizing and stereotyping teen girls over the past century, mass media have perpetuated a pattern of gendered crisis that ultimately limits the cultural and political power of the young women it covers.

From Yahweh to Yahoo! Cover

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From Yahweh to Yahoo!

The Religious Roots of the Secular Press

Doug Underwood

This wide-ranging study--hailed by American Journalism as one of the year's best books--provides a fresh and surprising view of the religious impulses at work in the typical newsroom by delving into the largely unexamined parallels between religion and journalism, from the "media" of antiquity to the electronic idolatry of the Internet. Focusing on how the history of religion in the United States has been entwined with the growth of the media, Doug Underwood argues that American journalists are rooted in the nation's moral and religious heritage and operate, in important ways, as personifications of the old religious virtues.

Global Media Spectacle Cover

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Global Media Spectacle

News War over Hong Kong

Focusing on the global media coverage of Hong Kong’s transfer from Britain to China, Global Media Spectacle explores how the world media plan, operate, compete, and produce a historical record during significant global events. The authors interviewed seventy-six print and television reporters from the United States, Britain, the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, Canada, and Japan to delve into the revealing world of writing first drafts of history from reporters’ vantage points. Punctuated with witty and incisive examples, the book provides a useful description of contestation and alliance, themes and variations, and convergence and divergence between and within various blocs of nations.

The Godfather of Tabloid Cover

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The Godfather of Tabloid

Generoso Pope Jr. and the National Enquirer

Jack Vitek

They’re hard to miss at grocery stores and newsstands in America—the colorful, heavily illustrated tabloid newspapers with headlines promising shocking, unlikely, and sometimes impossible stories within. Although the papers are now ubiquitous, the supermarket tabloid’s origin can be traced to one man: Generoso Pope Jr., an eccentric, domineering chain-smoker who died of a heart attack at age sixty-one. In The Godfather of Tabloid, Jack Vitek explores the life and remarkable career of Pope and the founding of the most famous tabloid of all— the National Enquirer. Upon graduating from MIT, Pope worked briefly for the CIA until he purchased the New York Enquirer with dubious financial help from mob boss Frank Costello. Working tirelessly and cultivating a mix of American journalists (some of whom, surprisingly, were Pulitzer prize winners) and buccaneering Brits from Fleet Street who would do anything to get a story, Pope changed the name, format, and content of the modest weekly newspaper until it resembled nothing America had ever seen before. At its height, the National Enquirer boasted a circulation of more than five million, equivalent to the numbers of the Hearst newspaper empire. Pope measured the success of his paper by the mail it received from readers, and eventually the volume of reader feedback was such that the post office assigned the Enquirer offices their own zip code. Pope was skeptical about including too much celebrity coverage in the tabloid because he thought it wouldn’t hold people’s interest, and he shied away from political stories or stances. He wanted the paper to reflect the middlebrow tastes of America and connect with the widest possible readership. Pope was a man of contradictions: he would fire someone for merely disagreeing with him in a meeting (once firing an one editor in the middle of his birthday party), and yet he spent upwards of a million dollars a year to bring the world’s tallest Christmas tree to the Enquirer offices in Lantana, Florida, for the enjoyment of the local citizens. Driven, tyrannical, and ruthless in his pursuit of creating an empire, Pope changed the look and content of supermarket tabloid media, and the industry still bears his stamp. Grounded in interviews with many of Pope’s supporters, detractors, and associates, The Godfather of Tabloid is the first comprehensive biography of the man who created a genre and changed the world of publishing forever.

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