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How Corporate Journalism Killed the Arkansas Gazette
Whereas the Heiskell/Patterson family had been committed to quality journalism, Gannett was focused on the bottom line. The corporation shifted the Gazette’s editorial focus from giving readers what they needed to be engaged citizens to informing them about what they should do in their leisure time. While in many ways the chain trivialized the Gazette’s mission, the paper managed to retain its superior quality. But financial concerns made the difference in Arkansas’s ongoing newspaper war. As the head of a privately held company, Hussman had only himself to answer to, and he never flinched while spending $42 million in his battle with the Pattersons and millions more against Gannett. Gannett ultimately lost $108 million during its five years in Little Rock; Hussman said his losses were far less but still in the tens of millions.
Gannett had to answer to nervous stockholders, most of whom had no tie to, or knowledge of, Arkansas or the Gazette. For Hussman, the Arkansan, the battle had been personal since at least 1978. It is no surprise that the corporation blinked first, and the Arkansas Gazette died on October 18, 1991, the victim of corporate journalism.
Charleston Conference Proceedings, 2014
Over one hundred presentations from the thirty-fourth Charleston Library Conference (held November 5–8, 2014) are included in this annual proceedings volume. Major themes of the meeting included patron-driven acquisitions versus librarian-driven acquisitions; marketing library resources to faculty and students to increase use; measuring and demonstrating the library's role and impact in the retention of students and faculty; the desirability of textbook purchasing by the library; changes in workflows necessitated by the move to virtual collections; the importance of self-publishing and open access publishing as a collection strategy; the hybrid publisher and the hybrid author; the library’s role in the collection of data, datasets, and data curation; and data-driven decision making. While the Charleston meeting remains a core one for acquisitions, serials, and collection development librarians in dialog with publishers and vendors, the breadth of coverage of this volume reflects the fact that the Charleston Conference is now one of the major venues for leaders in the information community to shape strategy and prepare for the future. Over 1,600 delegates attended the 2014 meeting, ranging from the staff of small public library systems to CEOs of major corporations. This fully indexed, copyedited volume provides a rich source for the latest evidence-based research and lessons from practice in a range of information science fields. The contributors are leaders in the library, publishing, and vendor communities.
Quality Publishing in the West
Born and raised on the windswept prairies of northwest Wyoming, Alan Swallow (1915–1966) nurtured a passion for literature and poetry at an early age. Quickly realizing he was not suited to a life of farming and ranching, Swallow entered the University of Wyoming to study literature and earned a fellowship to further his studies at Louisiana State University. It was there, under the influence of Robert Penn Warren and Cleanth Brooks, that Swallow began his almost three-decade-long career as a publisher, teacher, and poet. This outstanding biography is the first to explore the fascinating life of Alan Swallow, a pioneering western publisher whose authors included such literary luminaries as Anaïs Nin, Allen Tate, and Yvor Winters. Moving to Colorado, Swallow founded the Swallow Press and dedicated himself to bringing literary authors, both regionally and nationally recognized, to print in high-quality yet affordable books. Swallow’s tireless work as an editor and innovative publisher gave him much integrity. He became a revered literary figure of his day, while rumors of his marital infidelities and his fondness for fast cars earned him a different notoriety. Nelson brings this forgotten episode of publishing history vividly back to life, shining a bright light on the rich literary legacy of the West.
An Oral History
This new addition to Arkansas journalism history provides vivid details about what it was like to work at the old Democrat. August Engel, who led the paper with focused devotion for forty-two years, was famous for his thrift, allowing no air conditioning in the newsroom, and paying sub-par wages. In spite of these conditions, there are tales here of dedicated journalism professionals endeavoring to do good work. Readers who remember the final acrimony between the two papers may be surprised to learn that for many years the Democrat and the Gazette owners operated under a tacit agreement of civility. The papers didn’t hire each other’s staff, for example, and when a fire broke out in the Gazette pressroom, Democrat management offered the use of its press. Staffers recall that when the Gazette struggled with an advertising boycott and reduced circulation during the Little Rock Central High crisis because of its perceived progressive editorial stance, which infuriated many Arkansans, the Democrat did less than it might have to capitalize.
The eventual newspaper war saw the end of any semblance of civility when the Democrat hired an aggressive and infamous managing editor named John Robert Starr who began giving away classified ads, printing more news, and changing publication from evening to morning. Through these firsthand stories of those who lived it, The Improbable Life of the Arkansas Democrat tells the story of how the number-two paper became the unlikely number one, forever changing not only Arkansas journalism but also Arkansas history.
When Africa stumbled into independence in the 1960s, the blossoming of newspapers of nearly every political persuasion was widely hailed as a critical stepping stone toward true multiparty democracy. However, rather than marking a clean break with an authoritarian past, the era of multiparty politics in Africa has been a time of increased hardship and repression for journalists who dare criticize powerful incumbents. Media repression continues to rise. After decades of retreat, authoritarian regimes are using social media and other sophisticated systems in a new era of repression to thwart democracy and trample human rights. For consecutive decades, the state of freedom has declined � more people in more places face more repression. While systemic torture in war-torn Somalia and the return of a military dictatorship in Egypt captured headlines, there is also widespread, insidious and 21st-century style surveillance elsewhere with abuse or imprisonment or both of political activists. For the media to play its role as priests of democracy, Tatah Mentan maintains that media freedom must be rigorously defended as integral to the democratic way of life.
The Best of Cameroon Report' (1978 - 1986)
Working for Cameroon state-owned Radio in the 1970s and ë80s meant toeing the official line and learning not to sing out of tune. While the rather scanty private press that existed at the time was subject to prior censorship, a different kind of censorship ñ self-censorship prevailed at the Radio where topics for commentaries were vetted by the Minister of Information or his delegate. But for Anglophones working in a predominantly francophone environment, once topics were approved, the authorities could not be sure which direction commentaries were going to take as the journalists applied the tactics of ëbite and blowí, sometimes giving full expression of their Anglo-Saxon spirit of debate and critical analysis as evidenced in this selection of commentaries from the Sunday morning commentary programme, ìCameroon Reportî (now ìCameroon Callingî) of the late 1970ís up till 1986. It is a showcase of the irrepressible seed of freedom of expression that Anglophone journalists were imbued with and demonstrated at a time when subjects related to coups díÈtat, human rights and governance were considered taboo. It was and shall remain the indelible input of the Anglophone character that has had a positive influence on Cameroonís media landscape.
The Subject in the Age of Documentation, Information, and Data
Vol. 36 (2001) through current issue
Formerly Libraries & Culture, through volume 41, no. 2, Spring 2006 (E-ISSN: 1534-7591, Print ISSN: 0894-8631).
Information and Culture: A Journal of History explores the interactions of people, organizations, and societies with information and technologies. Social and cultural context of information and information technology, viewed from an historical perspective, is at the heart of the journal's interests.