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Journalism Today: A Themed History

ISBN: 978-1-4051-7953-9
352 pages
April 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
Journalism Today: A Themed History (1405179538) cover image


Journalism Today: A Themed History provides a cultural approach to journalism's history through the exploration of overarching concepts, as opposed to a typical chronological overview. Rich with illuminating stories and biographies of key figures, it sheds new light on the relationship between the press and society and how each has shaped the other.
  • Thematic study of the history of journalism, examining the role of journalism in democracy, the influence of new technology, the challenge of balancing ethical values, and the role of the audience
  • Charts the influence of the historical press for today’s news in print, broadcast, and new media
  • Situates journalism in a rich cultural context with lively examples and case studies that bring the subject alive for contemporary readers
  • Provides a comparative analysis of American, British, and international journalism
  • Helpful feature boxes on important figures and case studies enhance student understanding of the development of journalism and news as we know it today, providing a convenient springboard for follow-up work.
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Table of Contents

Preface: How To Use the Book and Summary of Sections viii

Acknowledgments xiv

Introduction: The Uses and Abuses of History: Why Bother With It ? 1

Part I: Journalism and Democracy: A Sibling Rivalry? 13

1 A Right To Know 15

Résumé: Walter Lippmann 19

Résumés: The Founding Fathers 23

FactFile: The Development of Rights and Liberties 26

2 The Road Not Taken 30

Résumé: Tom Paine 35

FactFile: Anthony Haswell and Freedom of the Press 38

Résumé: Edward Smith Hall – An Australian Pioneer 41

FactFile: Habermas and the Changing Public Sphere 44

FactFile: The Lincoln–Douglas Debates 48

3 Digging the Dirt 55

Résumé: Lincoln Steffens 59

Résumé: S. S. McClure 60

Résumé: John Dewey 66

Résumé: Henry Luce 70

4 Spinning a Good Yarn and Developing Community 75

FactFile: The Pseudo-Event 82

Résumé: Ivy Lee 85

Résumé: Edward Bernays 86

FactFile: Neoliberalism’s Threat to Community 88

Part II: Technology, Work, and Business: Is Journalism More Than Just a Job? 97

5 Changing Roles in a Changing World 99

FactFile: The Cold Type Revolution 101

Résumé: Lord Beaverbrook 104

Résumé: Charles Dana 107

Résumé: William Cobbett 110

Résumé: John Stuart Mill 111

6 A New Journalism For A New Age 120

Résumé: Joseph Pulitzer 121

Résumé: Alfred Harmsworth, Lord Northcliffe 123

Résumé: E. L. Godkin 126

FactFile: Appeal to Reason 132

FactFile: Ida M. Tarbell and Standard Oil 134

7 He Who Pays The Piper 140

FactFile: Advertising, Class, and the Daily Herald 142

FactFile: Forza Italia 143

FactFile: The Broadcast Reform Movement, 1928-35 149

FactFile: Edward R. Murrow and See It Now 151

8 A Power Worth Fighting For 160

FactFile: Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation 162

FactFile: Cable News Network and the "CNN Effect" 164

Part III: Ethics: A Matter of Judgment? 173

9 Private and Confidential? 175

FactFile: Privacy Codes in the United States 183

FactFile: Privacy Codes in Great Britain 185

10 Fakes, Rakes, and "On The Take" 200

FactFile: Faking It 210

Part IV: Audience: Citizen Consumer or Consumer Citizen? 219

11 Finding an Audience 221

FactFile: News Values 225

FactFile: Joe and Jolene Sixpack 231

Résumé: George Newnes 239

Résumé: C. P. Scott and the Manchester Guardian 242

12 How Audiences Rewrote the Script 247

FactFile: La Fronde 253

FactFile: Le Petit Journal 256

FactFile: Audience Reaction to W. T. Stead's "Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon" 265

13 Watching and Listening 272

FactFile: Leo Lowenthal and Celebrity "Idols" 276

FactFile: Measuring the Audience 281

Résumé: Marshall McLuhan 286

Part V: Conclusion: A Future History 297

14 Paper Tigers? 299

Résumé: Paul Julius Reuter 303

FactFile: The "Net Benefit to Canada" Test 306

Index 317

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Author Information

Jane L. Chapman is Professor of Communications at University of Lincoln School of Journalism and visiting Fellow at Cambridge University and University College Dublin School of History. Her books include Issues in Contemporary Documentary (2009); Broadcast Journalism: a Critical Introduction (with Marie Kinsey, 2008); Documentary in Practice (2007) and the best-selling Comparative Media History (2005). Her research interests include press history and the media's relationship to women and indigenous minorities.

Nick Nuttall is senior lecturer and MA program leader at the University of Lincoln School of Journalism. He worked for many years in East Africa, the Middle East and Cyprus, writing on travel and communication issues. He has authored a chapter on Truman Capote and New Journalism for The Journalistic Imagination (2007) as well as a chapter on investigative journalism for the latest edition of The Newspapers Handbook (2006). His research interests include New Journalism, press history, and the gonzo journalism of Hunter S. Thompson.

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The Wiley Advantage

  • Thematic, non-linear study of journalism history
  • Emphasizes influence of the historical press on its modern incarnation
  • Incorporates roles of print, broadcast, and new media
  • Gives comparative analysis of American, British, and international journalism
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“This book is a useful resource for classrooms, bringing together material on issues such as journalism’s place in the liberal-democratic ideal, the histories of taxes, content and circulation, news values, audience analysis studies and media economies . . . This is a useful addition to a reading list.”  (Media International Australia, 2012)

"Journalism students and practicing journalists will want to read this book. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-and upper-division undergraduates, technical students, professionals, general readers." (Choice, 1 September 2011)

“An invaluable book for integration of recent developments into media history; brilliantly links past and present, journalism and society through exploring personalization, globalization, localization, pauperization as hallmarks of modern journalism.”

Hazel Dicken-Garcia, Professor Emerita, University of Minnesota


"Jane Chapman and Nick Nuttall have written an introduction to journalism that is highly original and provocative. It is well worth reading and should be mandatory for anyone with an interest in the subject."

Robert W. McChesney, co-author, The Death and Life of American Journalism

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