|Bradshaw, Katherine A. “The Misunderstood Public Opinion of James Bryce.” 16-25.|
Griffin-Foley, Bridget. “‘The Crumbs are Better than a Feast Elsewhere’: Australian Journalists on Fleet Street.” 26-37.
Henry, Susan. “Ruth Hale: ‘A Passionate Contender’ Caught in a ‘Curious Collaboration.’” 2-15.
Hume, Janice. “Saloon-Smashing Fanatic, Corn-Fed Joan of Arc: The Changing Memory of Carry Nation in Twentieth-Century American
Volume 28, No. 2, Summer 2002
Perry Jr., Earnest L. “It’s Time to Force a Change: The African-American Press’ Campaign for True Democracy during World War II.
Volume 28, No. 3, Fall 2002
Pinzon, Charles. “The Kid in Upper 4: How Nelson Metcalf, Jr., Sold Support of the Soldier Next Door to a Disgruntled Public dur
Volume 28, No. 4, Winter 2003
Fuchs, Penny Bender. “Women in Journalism Oral History Collection of the Washington Press Club Foundation.” 191-196.
Appeal to Reason
Mascaro, Thomas A. “The Peril of the Unheeded Warning: Robert F. Rogers’ ‘Vietnam: It’s a Mad War.” 182-190.
Volume 29, No. 1, Spring 2003
Murphree, Vanessa D. “The Selling of Civil Rights: The Communication Section of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.”
Oblas, Peter B. “On Japan and the Sovereign Ghost-State: Hugh Byas, Journalist-Expert, and the Manchurian Incident.” 32-42.
Smith, Michael M. “Gringo Propagandist: George F. Weeks and the Mexican Revolution.” 2-11.
Volume 29, No. 2, Summer 2003
Knudson, Jerry W. “John Reed: A Reporter in Revolutionary Mexico.” 59-68.
Luther, Catherine A. “Reflections of Cultural Identities in Conflict: Japanese American Internment Camp Newspapers During World
Socolow, Michael J. “Anchors Away: Huntley, Brinkley, and Cronkite and the 1967 AFTRA Strike.” 50-58.
Volume 28, No. 1, Spring 2002
Public opinion polls have appeared in newspapers since the 1930s, and George Gallup relied on the thinking of James Bryce to link such polling to democracy. However, using Bryce’s work to make this link demonstrates a misunderstanding of it. While Gallup argued that common men were wise, Bryce argued that men were stratified by race and ordered by rank in their ability to reason and govern. Thus, he advocated extending the influence of an elite few to the masses in order to moderate the dangers of voting. He thought it a pity that so many of what he called the irrational, unreasoning “residuum” could vote. However, this may have been ignored by pollsters and social scientists because they were unaware of the historical arguments or may not have understood the subtlety of historical theory due to their foundational quantitative assumptions.
This article explores the experiences of Australian journalists who worked on Fleet Street in London between 1900 and the outbreak of World War II. Concentrating on a number of individual journalists, it considers the powerful lure of Fleet Street, the reasons for departure from Australia, first impressions of London, the opportunities provided by being abroad, experiences of success and failure on Fleet Street, working and social life, and the particular challenges and opportunities facing women journalists. It examines the theme of education in the public writings and private reflections of Australian journalists who worked on Fleet Street and reflects on the circularity and complexity of the imperial journalistic experience. While each journalist or editor would recount his or her one great exclusive, many would look back to the “golden age” of journalism before the crassness of Lord Northcliffe.
Ruth Hale was a journalist, feminist, activist, and unacknowledged collaborator with her husband, Heywood Brown, a prolific writer and extraordinarily popular newspaper columnist in the 1920s and 1930s. This article examines Hale’s successful journalism career before her marriage and its sharp decline afterwards, her essential role in the work for which Brown received sole credit and much acclaim, and the problematic marriage in which the couple’s journalistic partnership was imbedded. Also described is Hale’s social activism, including her fight for the right of women to keep their birth names after they married as a symbol of their equality with their husbands. It was a cause to which she was fiercely committed even as her crucial contribution to Brown’s work was obscured by his byline.
Early in the twentieth century, Carry Nation achieved celebrity status by smashing Kansas saloons with a hatchet. This made her something of an icon in American lore, remembered as a fierce crusader for temperance and women’s rights, yet almost as a cartoon caricature. Scholars have written about her crusades using press coverage as a primary source, but no one has examined, over time, public memory of this fascinating woman. This article traces magazine coverage of Nation throughout the twentieth century, showing how portrayals of “the bar room smasher” changed and what those changes revel about American culture and the American press. The purpose is to argue that these stories can be an important tool for studying cultural history.
Tom Reilly, the founder of Journalism History, died on May 7 following a lengthy battle with prostate cancer. Susan Henry, who became a colleague of his at California State University-Northridge in 1976 and gradually worked more and more with the journal before becoming its next editor from 1985-91, was asked to write about his editorship and what it meant to historians in the journalism field. Her thoughts follow.
For the African-American press, proclaiming that there would be no “Close Ranks” during World War II was not enough. This article looks at how the African-American press, in conjunction with other civil rights organizations, used the dual victory campaign to bridge the gap between the African-American consciousness that wanted to continue the fight for equality during the war and the patriotic American consciousness that wished to wholeheartedly support the war effort. It explores how the African-American press responded to specific acts of discrimination and segregation that led to violence and apathy among African Americans. The discriminatory policies of the dominant culture heightened double-consciousness as espoused by W.E.B Du Bois and led the African-American press to adopt the principles of the Double V campaign as a way of helping African Americans cope with the duality of American democracy.
The daily newspaper penetrated American urban society in the last half of the nineteenth century to a much greater extent than historians have shown. They have misread that daily’s diffusion because they have used a circulation per capita calculation rather than a more realistic and appropriate circulation per urban household. This article provides a rationale for the new index and explains the changes in society, technology, and newspaper practices that made it possible for the industry to sell 2.61 copies per urban dwelling in 1900, the highest diffusion ever attained in either the nineteenth or twentieth centuries. Even in the antebellum period there was a far greater diffusion than was thought, with 1.5 copies per urban dwelling in 1850. The study also suggests the significance of this hidden diffusion to society and to the newspaper industry.
Although media historians have broadly chronicled the struggle for press freedom in the United States, they have done little to document the lives and contributions of pornographers. This article seeks to begin filling that void by illuminating the life, work, and First Amendment struggles of Herman Lynn Womack, a publisher who specialized in materials designed to titillate and appeal to gay men. His battles against the efforts of the U.S. Post Office to halt the circulation of his publications are chronicled, and the social and legal ramifications of his ultimate victory in a landmark 1962 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court are examined. The ruling in Manual Enterprises Inc. v. J Edward Day expanded the limits of First Amendment protection and began erasing the social stigma imposed on homosexuality.
This article focuses on the relationship between Percy Green, the black editor of the Jackson Advocate, and the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission from 1956 to 1965. He was a paid informant of the commission, which was a state-funded segregationist organization that secretly gathered information on individuals who supported the civil rights movement. An examination of commission files reveals that it considered Green, a conservative, to be an important contact person, and he was relied upon heavily to help the agency carry out its mission. This study provides insight into what motivated him to work for the commission and what activities he was involved in as an agent. It concludes that the relationship between Greene and the commission grew more complex as the civil rights movement gained momentum in the 1960s.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s study of the politics of Edgar Snow, author of Red Star Over China, was marked by inaccuracies and by incomplete analysis. The bureau’s reports on him, when compared to his writings, demonstrate that the government created a misleading portrait of the prominent journalist. The bureau’s use of his alleged memberships in liberal groups to claim guilt by association likewise showed an FBI pattern of errors and incomplete evidence. Even some of the basic biographical information that the bureau collected on him was incorrect. The irresponsible research on Snow was used to discredit the journalist in the New York Times and resulted in the U.S. government banning his work from government-sponsored libraries abroad and in congressional loyalty hearings during the 1950s. The resulting scandals effectively ended his journalistic career in the U.S., even though he was never found to be disloyal to his native country.
Henry Luce’s Life magazine had an early brush with controversy in 1937 with the publication of a voyeuristic feature titled, “How to Undress.” This paper undertakes a qualitative analysis of this and other instances of nudity in the first year of Life to understand the institutional and cultural context in which “How to Undress” emerged. It also addresses the questions of how this feature (and nudity more broadly) fit into photojournalism and what these images and responses to them suggest about ideologies of gender, race, and sexuality. Life’s nudity was not merely a frivolous distraction from the serious news of the day, as some commentators have suggested. Instead, it often communicated serious messages about women’s proper role in society and about distinctions between Americans and people from other cultures.
Clara Bewick Colby established the Woman’s Tribune in Beatrice, Nebraska, in 1883. The suffragist newspaper survived twenty-six years and would later include Washington, D.C., and Portland, Oregon, as places of publication. This study is an analysis of the content of the newspaper in the years when it was published in Nebraska (1883-89), during which time the paper provided rural, isolated women with information that transcended the right to vote. The study concludes that the Women’s Tribune consistently was framed within an identifiable feminist ideology, in which Colby held to the notion that suffrage and equality for women were moral rights in a democratic society.
“The Kid in Upper 4,” an advertisement created for the New Haven Railroad during the early part of World War II by copywriter Nelson C. Metcalf, Jr., has been called “the most famous advertisement of the war and one of the most effective of all time” by historian Frank W. Fox. James Twitchell labeled it as the beginning of advocacy advertising and as one of the twenty advertisements that “shook the world.” Drawing on interviews with Metcalf and other sources, the researchers detail the creation, context, and impact of a unique example of public affairs advertising.
While considerable attention has been given to the emergence of women in television news, explanations have rested on the careers of nationally known newswomen whose strides against gender bias are said to have cleared a path for others. Yet, as this study shows, the first female newscasters were little-known figures brought forward at local stations who arrived in force in the early 1970s. New evidence reveals that change occurred because of the first widespread use of focus groups and surveys by managers and consultants. Despite fears that the public would not accept women, female anchors and reports proliferated when audience research convinced broadcasters that viewers wanted women on the news. Ominous, though, was the further use of these methods as more women entered the field and had to compete for frontline posts. Thus, this study illustrates how the history of the news process can explain the origin and impact of events.
This is the first in what will be a series of articles on archival collections of interest in mass communication historians. Readers of Journalism History are invited to suggest collections that they would like to see appear in future articles, and the editors would welcome volunteers to write such articles.
This study examines the uses of history and public memory in the Appeal to Reason, which was the most successful and powerful of the socialist newspapers in early twentieth-century America. The purpose is to explore how an alternative group made use of public memory, particularly in its journalistic endeavors. That such a publication would co-opt dominant-culture memories speaks to the complex relationship between sub-cultures and mainstream society. The Appeal used American history and icons in a variety of ways as tools of persuasion. Articles pointed out the misuse of history and memory, reconstructed history to promote the socialist cause, used historic icons to teach lessons, and celebrated specific heroes.
The political management and prosecution of the Vietnam War are among the worst tragedies in American history. Any of the relatives and friends of the 58,000 men and women whose names are milled into the black granite of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington wishes the country would have seen the perils and folly that lay ahead when the U.S. began escalating the war in 1965. As the previous year had come to a close, however, NBC News had broadcast a prescient, hour-long television documentary that in effect foretold what was coming. “Vietnam: It’s a Mad War” was produced by Ted Yates, who was killed during the outbreak of the Six-Day War in 1967. But archival records prove that “Vietnam: It’s a Mad War” was the vision of associate producer and writer, Robert F. Rogers, and this article reveals the keenness of his documentary vision and skill as a writer. This is also a cautionary tale about not only the importance of documentary journalism but also the consequences of an uninformed, inactive society.
This study describes the efforts of Harry D. Strunk, publisher of a small daily newspaper in southwestern Nebraska, to use technology to make his paper a mass medium in 1929-30, which was a time characterized by several innovations. Purchasing goods on installment payments had become popular and boosted newspaper advertising, and various indicators showed that rural newspaper readers wanted better goods and services and were willing to travel to get them. At the same time, automobile and truck production sparked road building just as the commercial airline industry began and the Post Office started air mail delivery. Strunk, always an innovator, sized up the situation, utilized the fastest delivery method available, a Curtiss Robin airplane, and delivered his newspaper to thirty-three smaller towns in ten counties, securing the loyalty of readers.
The period following World War II was one of significant growth in the consumer economy. As the demand for consumer goods grew, so did the demand for freight transportation, leading to a battle between the railroads and the trucking industry. To fight the competition, the railroads lobbied government for trucking regulations. In Pennsylvania, the truckers answered the railroads with an anti-trust lawsuit, which essentially put public relations tactics on trial. This article examines the case, Noerr Motor Freight v. Eastern Railroad Presidents Conference, from its 1956 trial through the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1961 decision. This provides an opportunity to look at the ethical practice of public relations at a time when the industry was attempting to define itself and set standards for its practitioners’ conduct and illustrates the level of misunderstanding of the profession that existed on the part of at least a portion of society.
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee formed in 1960 to encourage one of the most important movements in American history—civil rights. With a tremendous human rights mission facing them, the founding SNCC members included communication and publicity as part of their initial purpose. These coordinating activities expanded into a revitalization of the student movement while the initial communication efforts served as a foundational agent for propelling civil rights. This article examines SNCC’s public relations activities throughout the organization’s existence and how the organization combined community organizing with the use of traditional communications and public relations tactics and strategies to change the racial character for the country and to empower black Americans.
Hugh Byas, a historically overlooked but a leading and highly respected journalist in Japan at the time of the Manchurian Incident in 1931, had a long career connected to Japan of more than twenty years. Working for the Japan Advertiser and later the London Times and the New York Times, he formulated a template on the Far East, portraying Japan as modernizing and China as Asia’s “Sick Man.” He then shifted his cognitive script in the late 1920s, promoting Japan as an established entity which was challenged as a respectable member of the international community by China, a non-state. This impacted on Canadian and British official opinion, cementing a favorable-to-Japan response by Britain after the Manchurian Incident.
During the Mexican Revolution, no U.S. journalist maintained as close or as enduring relations with revolutionary leaders as former California newspaperman, George F. Weeks. Between 1913 and 1920, he was the principle publicist for Venustiano Carranza’s Constitutionalist regime, directing the Mexican Bureau of Information and founding and editing the Mexican Review/Revista Mexicana, a bilingual magazine that promoted Mexican interests in the United States. He employed techniques that conform to the public-information model of communications, and his activities reflected the practice and increasing significance of public relations and propaganda in an international context during a tumultuous decade of revolution and world war.
Golf became a part of the American landscape in the 1920s, both literally and figuratively. Many factors contributed to the tremendous growth of the game, including urbanization and increased leisure time. This article shows how national, mass-circulation magazines also contributed to that growth. How media frame an issue influences how the public perceives it, and that influences public opinion. A frame analysis of 250 magazines articles from thirty-five magazines revealed four frames: game enhancement, benefits, mythical nature of golf, and Bobby Jones adulation. These frames all helped promote the acceptance of golf and increased participation in it. Thus, magazines, which were one of the true mass media of the decade, contributed to the sport’s growth by the way they framed it.
Americans tend to not understand social revolutions because their experience after 1776 was largely political. Thus, U.S. news accounts of the fighting which broke out in Mexico in 1910 considered the conflict as simply another exuberant Latin American coup d’etat, this time to end the thirty-six-year dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz. But the military phase of the Mexican revolution lasted almost a decade, claimed a million lives, and seasoned a young writer named John Reed. His graphic dispatches to the New York World as well as radical publications drew praise from some for his vivid writing—a forerunner of the New Journalism or Literary Journalism—and scorn from others for his lack of “objectivity.” His later eye-witness account of the Russian revolution of 1917 won him worldwide acclaim, but his Mexican reportage clearly established him as the precursor of later journalists, such as Ernie Pyle and others, who sought to convey reality in a meaningful way.
On February 19, 1942, shortly after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing the removal of all Japanese Americans living in the Pacific Coast region. As a result, about 110,000 persons of Japanese ancestry were forced to evacuate to hastily erected internment camps. Those who have discussed their internment experiences often mention the struggle in cultural identity that they had felt. This article explores how the newspapers that were established in each camp reflected this identity struggle. Although the Japanese Americans initially suppressed their Japanese cultural identity in favor of their American identity in the newspapers, their sense of identity evolved through the course of internment to where both cultures were proudly affirmed.
In March 1967, the American Federation of Television and Radio Actors (AFTRA) called its first nationwide strike. Although almost all programming on the national television networks ceased production, the evening newscasts continued to be broadcast. NBC’s Chet Huntley crossed the picket line, calling AFTRA a union “dominated by announcers, entertainers, and singers.” His partner, David Brinkley, refused to work, and CBS’ Walter Cronkite also supported the union. The strike represents a pivotal yet often overlooked moment in broadcast journalism history. It created the perception of tension between Huntley and Brinkley that would play a role in the “CBS Evening News” surpassing the “Huntley-Brinkley Report” as the nation’s most highly-rated evening news broadcast in 1967-68.
Volume 29, No. 3, Fall 2003
The Anti-Saloon League of America was a Midwestern, church-based, social reform group founded in 1895, whose drive for national prohibition played a major role in the ratification and subsequent enactment of the Eighteenth Amendment. The purpose of this article is to expand the current model of public relations history by examining the ideas and methods that the League established in its first fifteen years to generate public sentiment for a dry, saloonless nation. Many of these concepts not only echo what are considered today to be basic principles of public relations, but they were conceived and implemented at the turn of the century by two Ohio men who did not define themselves in terms of public relations and publicity practitioners but in their roles as ministers in fulfilling what they considered to be their religious duty of eliminating liquor in the U.S. The article concludes that while there is still much to learn about public relations from those already labeled as “pioneers,” such as Edward Bernays or John Hill, there is even more to mine from those people or organizations who sought to influence public opinion and generate change in the pursuit of a cause or an idea.
A number of researchers have studied the newspapers published in Japanese American internment camps in the United States in World War II. However, they have ignored their predecessors, the mimeographed newspapers published in English by the Japanese evacuates in the sixteen assembly camps in 1942. This article addresses that void by examining primarily two California camp papers, the Tanforan Totalizer and the Santa Anita Pacemaker, as well as diaries and notes of evacuees, their personal correspondence, memoirs, and internal government reports. The author concludes that the government’s blatant censorship and control of the camp newspapers was one of the most severe abridgements of First Amendment press rights in U.S. history and is necessary in understanding the government’s mass incarceration policy during the war and its impact on the civil liberties and rights of Japanese Americans.
This article seeks to answer questions about the permanent published record that TV viewers and editorial writers left behind, in newspapers and magazines, reacting to CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow’s televised attack on Sen. Joseph McCarthy on March 9, 1954. Did viewers, readers, and editorial writers publicly commend Murrow for using this new national prime-time medium of TV to explore an important political issue? Or were viewers offended at Murrow’s use of selected film clips of McCarthy at his worst? Another related question is: How did published reaction to Murrow in letters to the editor and editorials compare with reaction to McCarthy? Any and all of this public reaction, to both Murrow and McCarthy, is explored in 2,343 letters to the editors and 2,107 editorials published in fourteen daily newspapers from four areas of the country and four national magazines during March 1954.
Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart began with the issuance of a court order that prohibited the publication of testimony and evidence presented at a preliminary hearing of a suspected mass murderer. With this judicial action, a press-bar contest ensued that hamstrung the media’s reporting capabilities as it struggled for seventy-nine days under four gag orders to cover one of the most brutal murders in Nebraska history. Throughout the controversy, the Nebraska press chose to comply with the restrictive orders; and this article examines the effects of that choice. Specifically, it explores how the Nebraska press functioned under the various restrictive orders, how closely the print coverage adhered to the restrictive orders, and how effectively the orders controlled the release of information deemed prejudicial by the judiciary.
This article directs attention to the remarkable developments of 1897 and argues that year merits recognition as pivotal moment in the trajectory of American journalism. In presenting that case, the article pursues a methodological frame—a single-year study—that has been little tested in journalism history, a field that leading scholars have criticized for resistance to fresh ways of considering journalism’s part. The notable developments of 1897 included the publication of perhaps the most famous editorial in American journalism, the diffusion of the enduring epithet “yellow journalism,” and a breakthrough in applying half-tone technology in daily newspapers. It also was the year when a choice between rival visions for the future of American journalism crystallized between the activist ethos of the New York Journal and the detached, fact-based antithesis of that genre, the New York Times.
From 1901 to 1909, Ladies’ Home Journal editor Edward Bok launched crusades to preserves Niagara Falls, beautify cities, and eradicate billboards. Yet the magazine ignored environmental concerns of the same group of women it targeted as readers—middle-class housewives—as shown by a comparison to General Federation of Women’s Clubs publications. This article concludes that the Journal’s environmental coverage was aesthetics in nature and served the status quo, reflecting Victorian primness while acknowledge some of the less serious environmental problems. The women’s clubs’ publications also focused on the aesthetic but went further, supporting forest conservation and opposing health hazards that not only threatened their lifestyles but those of the lower class. Nevertheless, it can be seen as largely elitist.
One of the most caricatured figures in the presidential election of 1884 ran for no political office. By pulling support from the Republicans, Harper’s Weekly editor George William Curtis became the target of visceral attacks from pro-GOP cartoonists. In addition to such time-honored methods as charging defectors with treason and hypocrisy, editors and cartoonists viciously attacked the masculinity of Curtis and like-minded “Mugwumps,” playing upon cultural uncertainty over the meaning of manhood during the Gilded Age and equating a lack of political loyalty with a lack of male characteristics. Thus, the cartoons served as sites of contention in broader cultural war that gave readers an opportunity to negotiate a moral code as the battle of the Christian Gentleman versus the Masculine Achiever was coming to its climax.