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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Girl on the Magazine Cover

The Origins of Visual Stereotypes in American Mass Media

Carolyn Kitch

From the Gibson Girl to the flapper, from the vamp to the New Woman, Carolyn Kitch traces mass media images of women to their historical roots on magazine covers, unveiling the origins of gender stereotypes in early-twentieth-century American culture.

Kitch examines the years from 1895 to 1930 as a time when the first wave of feminism intersected with the rise of new technologies and media for the reproduction and dissemination of visual images. Access to suffrage, higher education, the professions, and contraception broadened women's opportunities, but the images found on magazine covers emphasized the role of women as consumers: suffrage was reduced to spending, sexuality to sexiness, and a collective women's movement to individual choices of personal style. In the 1920s, Kitch argues, the political prominence of the New Woman dissipated, but her visual image pervaded print media.

With seventy-five photographs of cover art by the era's most popular illustrators, The Girl on the Magazine Cover shows how these images created a visual vocabulary for understanding femininity and masculinity, as well as class status. Through this iconic process, magazines helped set cultural norms for women, for men, and for what it meant to be an American, Kitch contends.

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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.

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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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Going Solo

Doing Videojournalism in the 21st Century

G. Stuart Smith

 

The traditional model of video news reporting has always had two separate roles: reporting and videography. For years, however, small-market news outlets have relied on “one-man bands”—individual reporters who shoot and edit their own video—for stories and footage. Lately, as the journalism landscape has evolved, this controversial practice has grown more and more popular. With the use of video constantly expanding, many large-market TV stations, networks, and newspaper Web sites are relying on one person to carry out a job formerly executed by two. News outlets now call these contributors VJs, digital journalists, backpack journalists, or mobile journalists. But no matter what they are called, there’s no denying the growing significance of solo videojournalists to the media landscape.
            Going Solo: Doing Videojournalism in the 21st Century details the controversy, history, and rise of this news genre, but its main objective is to show aspiring videojournalists how to learn the craft. While other textbooks depict the conventional reporter-and-videographer model, Going Solo innovates by teaching readers how to successfully juggle the skills traditionally required of two different people.
            Award-winning journalist G. Stuart Smith begins by describing how and why the media’s use of solo videojournalists is growing, then delves into the controversy over whether one person can cover a story as well as two. He illuminates how, together, the downsizing of the media, downturn in the economy, and growth of video on the Web have led to the rise of the solo videojournalist model. Going Solo profiles TV stations and newspaper Web operations across the country that are using the model and offers helpful advice from VJs in the field. The book presents useful guidelines on how to multitask as a reporter-videographer: conducting interviews, shooting cover video, and writing and editing a good video story. Readers will also learn how to produce non-narrated stories and market themselves in a competitive field.
            Smith, who started his career as a “one-man band,” insightfully covers an area of journalism that, despite its growing market demand, has received little academic attention. Going Solo: Doing Videojournalism in the 21st Century is useful for students learning the basics and those already in the field who need to upgrade their skills. By presenting industry know-how and valuable tips, this unique guidebook can help any enterprising videojournalist create a niche for him- or herself in the increasingly fragmented news media market.

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Governing Soviet Journalism

The Press and the Socialist Person after Stalin

Thomas C. Wolfe

The Soviet project of creating a new culture and society entailed a plan for the modeling of "new" persons who embodied and fulfilled the promise of socialism, and this vision was expressed in the institutions of government. Using archival sources, essays, and interviews with journalists, Thomas C. Wolfe provides an account of the final four decades of Soviet history viewed through the lens of journalism and media. Whereas most studies of the Soviet press approach its history in terms of propaganda or ideology, Wolfe's focus is on the effort to imagine a different kind of person and polity. Foucault's concept of governmentality illuminates the relationship between the idea of the socialist person and everyday journalistic representation, from the Khrushchev period to the 1990s and the appearance of the tabloid press. This thought-provoking study provides insights into the institutions of the Soviet press and the lives of journalists who experienced important transformations of their work.

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Growing Up With Tanzania. Memories, Musings and Maths

In Growing up with Tanzania. Karim Hirji, a renowned Professor of Medical Statistics and Fellow of the Tanzania Academy of Science, presents a multi-faceted, evocative portrait of his joyous but conflicted passage to adulthood during colonial and early-Uhuru Tanzania. His smooth style engages the reader with absorbing true tales, cultural currents, critical commentary and progressive possibilities. By vibrantly contrasting the hope-filled sixties with the cynical modern era, he also lays bare the paradoxes of personal life and society, past and present.

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The Harrisburg 7 and the New Catholic Left

40th Anniversary Edition

William O'Rourke

“During the first three months of 1972 a trial took place in the middle district of Pennsylvania: THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA versus Eqbal Ahmad, Philip Berrigan, Elizabeth McAlister, Neil McLaughlin, Anthony Scoblick, Mary Cain Scoblick, Joseph Wenderoth. The defendants stood accused of conspiring to raid federal offices, to bomb government property, and to kidnap presidential advisor Henry Kissinger. Six of those seven individuals are, or were, Roman Catholic clergy—priests and nuns. Members of the new ‘Catholic Left.’”—from the introduction

When The Harrisburg 7 and the New Catholic Left was originally published in 1972, it remained on The New York Times Book Review “New and Recommended” list for six weeks and was selected as one of the Notable Books of the Year. Now, forty years later, William O’Rourke’s book eloquently speaks to a new generation of readers interested in American history and the religious anti-war protest movements of the Vietnam era.
 
O’Rourke brings to life the seven anti-war activists, who were vigorously prosecuted for alleged criminal plots, filling in the drama of the case, the trial, the events, the demonstrations, the panels, and the people. O’Rourke includes a new afterword that presents a sketch of the evolution of protest groups from the 1960s and 1970s, including the history of the New Catholic Left for the past four decades, claiming that “[a]fter the Harrisburg trial, the New Catholic Left became the New Catholic Right.”

“O’Rourke’s book on the Harrisburg trial was a classic when it first appeared and remains a classic of trial reporting, an account even forty years later that is still pertinent to our contemporary situation. His new afterword is a gem of condensed history. It is a boon to journalists, historians, and political analysts, as well as the general reader, to have this book back in print.” —David Black, author of The King of Fifth Avenue and The Extinction Event

Reviews for the first edition:

“. . . a paean to the seven religious revolutionaries, a rueful but loving acknowledgment of their ‘brave and foolish letters,’ and a solemn threnody for the Catholic left, ‘broken by the mortar and pestle of this trial.'" —New Republic

 
“[The book is] in my opinion, a discovery, not so much about the facts of the trial but about what the antiwar priests and nuns of today mean to Catholic youth.”—Herbert Mitgang, The Progressive
 
"This is not only the best volume on any of the recent political trials. . . but a clinical x-ray of our society’s condition." — Garry Wills, The New York Times Book Review

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