Media and Public Affairs

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Media and Public Affairs

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African American Foreign Correspondents

A History

Jinx Coleman Broussard

Though African Americans have served as foreign reporters for almost two centuries, their work remains virtually unstudied. In this seminal volume, Jinx Coleman Broussard traces the history of black participation in international newsgathering. Beginning in the mid-1800s with Frederick Douglass and Mary Ann Shadd Cary—the first black woman to edit a North American newspaper—African American Foreign Correspondents highlights the remarkable individuals and publications that brought an often-overlooked black perspective to world reporting. Broussard focuses on correspondents from 1840 to modern day, including reporters such as William Worthy Jr., who helped transform the role of modern foreign correspondence by gaining the right for journalists to report from anywhere in the world unimpeded; Leon Dash, a professor of journalism and African American studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who reported from Africa for the Washington Post in the 1970s and 1980s; and Howard French, a professor in Columbia University’s journalism school and a globetrotting foreign correspondent. African American Foreign Correspondents provides insight into how and why African Americans reported the experiences of blacks worldwide. In many ways, black correspondents upheld a tradition of filing objective stories on world events, yet some African American journalists in the mainstream media, like their predecessors in the black press, had a different mission and perspective. They adhered primarily to a civil rights agenda, grounded in advocacy, protest, and pride. Accordingly, some of these correspondents—not all of them professional journalists—worked to spur social reform in the United States and force policy changes that would eliminate oppression globally. Giving visibility and voice to the marginalized, correspondents championed an image of people of color that combatted the negative and racially construed stereotypes common in the American media. By examining how and why blacks reported information and perspectives from abroad, African American Foreign Correspondents contributes to a broader conversation about navigating racial, societal, and global problems, some of which we continue to contend with today.

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From Pigeons to News Portals

Foreign Reporting and the Challenge of New Technology

edited by David D. Perlmutter and John Maxwell Hamilton

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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Money, Power, and Elections

How Campaign Finance Reform Subverts American Democracy

Rodney A. Smith. with a new preface by the author

Have campaign finance reform laws actually worked? Is money less influential in electing candidates today than it was thirty years ago when legislation was first enacted? Absolutely not, argues Rodney A. Smith in this passionately written, fact-filled, and provocative book. According to Smith, the laws have had exactly the opposite of their intended effect. They have increased the likelihood that incumbents in the House and Senate will be reelected, and they have greatly diminished the chances that candidates who are not wealthy will be elected. Smith's claims are supported by convincing data; he collected and analyzed information about all federal elections since 1920. These data show clearly that money matters now more than ever.

Smith thinks that reform legislation has created a new inequality for candidates that, if left unchecked, threatens to destroy the American electoral process by obliterating the foundational principle of free speech. He argues that "money buys speech" and when candidates lack money to buy media time and space they are effectively silenced. Their inability to "speak freely" violates the most significant intentions of our nation's founders: that a sovereign citizenry elect its own leaders based on a free exchange of ideas. For Smith, campaign finance reform has unwittingly unbalanced the checks and balances created by the Framers of the Constitution.

After presenting a detailed historical overview of how we have reached the present crisis, Smith proposes a simple solution: institute a process that completely discloses relevant information about campaign donors and recipients of donations. All disclosures would be available to the media, which would be able to investigate and report them fully. Only then, Smith believes, will the United States have the opportunity to be the democratic republic that its founders intended.

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Negotiating in the Press

American Journalism and Diplomacy, 1918-1919

Joseph R. Hayden

Negotiating in the Press offers a new interpretation of an otherwise dark moment in American journalism. Rather than emphasize the familiar story of lost journalistic freedom during World War I, Joseph R. Hayden describes the press’s newfound power in the war’s aftermath—that seminal moment when journalists discovered their ability to help broker peace talks. He examines the role of the American press at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, looking at journalists’ influence on the peace process and their relationship to heads of state and other delegation members. Challenging prevailing historical accounts that assume the press was peripheral to the quest for peace, Hayden demonstrates that journalists instead played an integral part in the talks, by serving as “public ambassadors.” During the late 1910s, as World War I finally came to a close, American journalists and diplomats found themselves working in unlikely proximity, with correspondents occasionally performing diplomatic duties and diplomats sometimes courting publicity. The efforts of both groups to facilitate the peace talks at Versailles arose amidst the vision of a “new diplomacy,” one characterized by openness, information sharing, and public accountability. Using evidence from memoirs, official records, and contemporary periodicals, Hayden reveals that participants in the Paris Peace Conference continually wrestled with ideas about the roles of the press and, through the press, the people. American journalists reported on an abundance of information in Paris, and negotiators could not resist the useful leverage that publicity provided. Peacemaking via publicity, a now-obscure dimension of progressive statecraft, provided a powerful ideological ethos. It hinted at dynamically altered roles for journalists and diplomats, offered hope for a world desperate for optimism and order, and, finally, suggested that the fruits of America’s great age of reform might be shared with a Europe exhausted by war. The peace conference of 1919, Hayden demonstrates, marked a decisive stage in the history of American journalism, a coming of age for many news organizations. By detailing what journalists did before, during, and after the Paris talks, he tells us a great deal about how the negotiators and the Wilson administration worked throughout 1919. Ultimately, he provides a richer integrative view of peacemaking as a whole. An engaging analysis of diplomacy and the Fourth Estate, Negotiating in the Press offers a fascinating look at how leading nations democratized foreign policy a century ago and ushered in the dawn of public diplomacy.

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Political Communication

The Manship School Guide

edited by Robert Mann and David D. Perlmutter

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Political Polling in the Digital Age

The Challenge of Measuring and Understanding Public Opinion

edited by Kirby Goidel. introduction by Charlie Cook

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Promoting the War Effort

Robert Horton and Federal Propaganda, 1938-1946

Mordecai Lee

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.

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Propaganda and American Democracy

Edited by Nancy Snow

Propaganda has become an inescapable part of modern American society. On a daily basis, news outlets, politicians, and the entertainment industry -- with motives both dubious and well-intentioned -- launch propagandistic appeals.

In Propaganda and American Democracy, eight writers explore various aspects of modern propaganda and its impact. Contributors include leading scholars in the field of propaganda studies: Anthony Pratkanis tackles the thorny issue of the inherent morality of propaganda; J. Michael Sproule explores the extent to which propaganda permeates the U.S. news media; and Randal Marlin charts the methods used to identify, research, and reform the use of propaganda in the public sphere.

Other chapters incorporate a strong historical component. Mordecai Lee deftly analyzes the role of wartime propaganda, while Dan Kuehl provides an astute commentary on former and current practices, and Garth S. Jowett investigates how Hollywood has been used as a vehicle for propaganda. In a more personal vein, Asra Q. Nomani recounts her journalistic role in the highly calculated and tragic example of the ultimate act of anti-American propaganda perpetrated by al-Qaeda and carried out against her former colleague, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

Propaganda and American Democracy offers an in-depth examination and demonstration of the pervasiveness of propaganda, providing citizens with the knowledge needed to mediate its effect on their lives.Edited by Nancy Snow

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Reporting the Cuban Revolution

How Castro Manipulated American Journalists

Leonard Ray Teel

Reporting the Cuban Revolution reveals the untold story of thirteen American journalists in Cuba whose stories about Fidel Castro’s revolution changed the way Americans viewed the conflict and altered U.S. foreign policy in Castro’s favor.

Between 1956 and 1959, the thirteen correspondents worked underground in Cuba, evading the repressive censorship of Fulgencio Batista’s dictatorship in order to report on the rebellion led by Fidel Castro. The journalists’ stories appeared in major newspapers, magazines, and national television and radio, influencing Congress to abruptly cut off shipments of arms to Batista in 1958. Castro was so appreciative of the journalists’ efforts to publicize his rebellion that on his first visit to the United States as premier of Cuba, he invited the reporters to a private reception at the Cuban Embassy in Washington, where he presented them with engraved gold medals.

While the medals revealed Castro’s perception of the correspondents as like-minded partisans, the journalists themselves had no such intentions. Some had journeyed to Cuba in pursuit of scoops that could rejuvenate or jump-start their careers; others sought to promote press freedom in Latin America; still others were simply carrying out assignments from their editors. Bringing to light the disparate motives and experiences of the thirteen journalists who reported on this crucial period in Cuba’s history, Reporting the Cuban Revolution is both a masterwork of narrative nonfiction and a deft analysis of the tension between propaganda and objectivity in the work of American foreign correspondents.

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Rewiring Politics

Presidential Nominating Conventions in the Media Age

edited by Costas Panagopoulos

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