|Mendelson, Andrew. “Slice-of-Life Moments as Visual ‘Truth’: Norman Rockwell, Feature Photography, and American Values in Pictor|
Volume 30, No. 1, Spring 2004
Soffer, Oren. “‘Paper Territory’: Early Hebrew Journalism and Its Political Roles.” 31-39.
Volume 30, No. 2, Summer 2004
Cox, Patrick L. “Charles Lindbergh and Mobiloil: The New Model for Modern Celebrity Endorsement.” 98-106.
Fosdick, Scott. “From Discussion Leader to Consumer Guide: A Century of Theater Criticism in Chicago Newspapers.” 91-97.
Henry, Susan. “Gambling on a Magazine and a Marriage: Jane Grant, Harold Ross, and The New Yorker.” 54-65.
Volume 30, No. 3, Fall 2004
Cramer, Janet M. “Cross-Purposes: Publishing Practices and Social Priorities of Nineteenth Century U.S. Missionary Women.” 123-1
Engelman, Ralph. “‘My Rhodes Scholarship’: Fred Friendly as an Information Officer in World War II.” 114-122.
Golden, Vincent. “North American Imprints before 1877 at the American Antiquarian Society.” 150-157.
Volume 30, No. 4, Winter 2005
Hume, Janice. “Press, Published History, and Regional Lore: Shaping the Public Memory of a Revolutionary War Heroine.” 200-209.
Stoker, Kevin, and Brad L. Rawlins. “The ‘Light’ of Publicity in the Progressive Era: From Searchlight to Flashlight.” 177-188.
Voss, Kimberly Wilmot. “The National Women and Media Collection at the University of Missouri.” 210-214.
Landers, James. “The National Observer, 1962-77: Interpretive Journalism Pioneer.” 13-22.
Lorenz, James Lawrence. “Ralph W. Tyler: The Unknown Correspondent of World War I.” 2-12.
Spencer, David R. “The Cartoon Research Library at Ohio State University.” 46-50.
McPherson, James B. “The Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections at Washington State University.” 106-112.
To photojournalists, the purpose of feature photographs is to reveal something enduring or timeless in the human spirit, and such images require their creators to find deeper meaning in the everyday. Before (and alongside) the emergence of feature photography, such work was also the province of the artists whose illustrations, Norman Rockwell, who was particularly famous for his Saturday Evening Post covers, with modern news feature photography and examines the cultural themes underlying pictorial journalism for the past century. Through an analysis of contemporary, award-winning feature photographs, it is evident that Rockwell’s aesthetic, created more than eighty years ago, is continuously (re)created as photographers document the “real-life” of their communities.
This is the second 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 article reviews the New York Times and magazine coverage from 1958 to 1962 of Project Chariot, which was a plan by physicist Edward Teller and the Atomic Energy Commission to blast out a harbor with four nuclear bombs near the villages of natives in northwest Alaska. In the end, the plan was never carried to fruition. In reviewing the media coverage, this study traces a grass-roots media effort begun in Alaska that surrounded the four-year debate among scientists, government agencies, and environmental activists that was largely played out in the media and ultimately led to the first stirrings of the modern environmental movement in the United States. The coverage indicated the dangers that can occur when the media passively cover an event rather than actively probing in stories for sources and questioning the government line.
The debate about the Beatles’ “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club” album is a watershed in the 1960s discussion about how press critics approached the transformation of American musical culture. In part, the “Sgt. Pepper” debate gave some critics fresh material to challenge highly intellectualized musical compositions of the avant garde who worked within the growing network of college and university music departments. Pitted against the landscape of social unrest, protest, and rebellion, a few critics used “Sgt. Pepper” to dispense with notions of a dominant musical culture and talk about the proliferation of highly segmented musical genres and influences and new crossover phenomena where different musical idioms influenced each. Among the most outspoken critics championing the latter were Richard Goldstein of the Village Voice, Joan Peyser of the New York Times, and Richard Meltzer of Crawdaddy!
In the middle-class world of the early twentieth century U.S., with its emphasis on business and manufacturing, paid work, and skilled work, women who worked in the home received little promise of social status. Despite attempts to professionalize housekeeping, it remained unskilled, unpaid, and time-consuming. Women’s service magazines, dependent on definitions of women as homemakers, nevertheless introduced new approaches to dealing with the onerous and stifling nature of housekeeping. In a series in the Ladies’ Home Journal, the kitchenless home was introduced as a possible alternative. Proponents of it argued that, like the spinning wheel, the home kitchen had become hopelessly anachronistic. Instead, they argued, women could free themselves for paid work and other non-domestic experiences by participating tin cooked food delivery services, apartment hotels, and community kitchens.
This article explores the political functions of eastern European Hebrew journalism in Jewish life in the second half of the nineteenth century. For the Jewish communities spread throughout the world and lacking central political and economic leadership, the press functioned as a virtual “town square,” facilitating the flow of information and the exchange of ideas. The Hebrew press, which had the potential to bridge language barriers between distinct Jewish communities, was characterized by its self-perception as a leader, a spokesman, and a public institute as well as its reflection of the “general-Israeli” spirit. This self-perception, combined with the characteristics of journalism as a mode of communication and the national legacy of the Hebrew language, contributed to the re-imaging of the Jewish nation in a modern and secular form.
This article uses oral history, archival research, and popular and trade publications mostly from the 1960s and the 1970s to tell the story of Action for Children’s Television (ACT). An advocacy group started by a group of mothers in Newton, Massachusetts, ACT changed the way that the broadcasting industry and the Federal Communications Commission approached TV programming for children. Policymakers credit the women of ACT with shaping current children’s television programming and advertising regulations. Although the group’s leadership changed over time, the organization always maintained the goals it set in the first few months of its existence. With these goals, ACT exemplified the impact that a determined advocacy group can have on government and the television industry.
This is the third in 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.
In the crucial formative years of Richard Nixon’s rise to power, syndicated columnist Drew Pearson, a fellow Quaker, emerged as Nixon’s primary journalistic enemy. With an audience of tens of millions, he denounced Nixon’s earliest Red-baiting campaigns, unearthed his links to political extremists and organized crime figures, and helped uncover the secret personal slush fund that led to the famous “Checker’s” speech, which nearly ended Nixon’s political career in its infancy. Pearson worked hand-in-glove with the Republican politician’s most ardent opponents, secretly writing memos and speeches for the Democrats and timing his journalistic exposes for maximum election-eve impact. As the battle-scarred Nixon became convinced that the news media were out to get him, Pearson confirmed his deepest fears. Using unexamined archival documents and oral history interviews, this article examines an important but little-studied relationship between two of the 1950s leading political and journalistic figures.
This article completes a three-part examination of theater critics working for Chicago newspapers during the twentieth century. The first article in the series covered the “boomtown” period leading up to World War I, and the second article addressed Chicago’s rise after 1960 as a regional center for theater covered by fewer newspapers and fewer critics. This article reviews those periods but emphasizes the middle, “road town” period, which saw a gradually dwindling band of critics functioning as quality control experts, passing judgment on New York road shows. After examining that period, this article uses commodification to consider the changing role of the critic over the entire century. It concludes that while commodification is a useful concept to understand vast changes in the critical landscape, it is neither an irresistible nor an inevitable force.
Although Harold Ross is credited with founding The New Yorker, in reality it was co-founded in 1925 by Ross and his wife, Jane Grant. This article describes Grant’s crucial role in the magazine’s conception, birth, postpartum struggles, and early success, showing how this pioneering periodical’s beginnings were deep-rooted in the Grant-Ross relationship and in the couple’s mutual enthusiasm for gambling. Also examined is Grant’s career at the New York Times, where she began as a society department stenographer and about a decade later became the newspaper’s first woman general-assignment reporter. It also looks at her work as a co-founder of the Lucy Stone League, which fought for women’s rights to keep their birth names after they married as a sign of their equality with their husbands.
This historical study of the U.S. advertising trade literature represents the first attempt to interpret the enduring debate between advocates of hard- and soft-sell advertising. Primary sources consisted of works published mainly in the historically important trade journal Printers’ Ink, supplemented with contemporary professional thought identified in advertising and marketing trade journals. The findings of the study are consistent with what many might recognize as the “received view” of modern advertising. However, they also help establish how and why the terms of this debate remained relatively stable over the course of the previous century, despite the fact that definitions of advertising effectiveness and appropriate strategy continually grew more complex and sophisticated.
Focusing on the women’s foreign missionary movement, this article looks at the publication practices of Protestant women to determine the ideas they cultivated about womanhood and social involvement and how these ideas were linked to the Progressive political climate of the time. The primary construction of womanhood coalesced around themes of piety, sacrifice, education, motherhood, and service to others. Most significant, however, was the emphasis on influencing others and the use of missionary publications to further this goal. Publications were widely distributed in the United States as well as to women in other countries. Thus, through content of the publications and distribution practices, missionary women supported an ideology of intervention and service that formed the backbone of the social and political agenda of U.S. political life during the emergence of the Progressive Era.
Fred Friendly’s experience as a master sergeant in the Information and Education Section of the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater during World War II served as a laboratory for his post-war career in broadcast journalism at CBS, the Ford Foundation, and Columbia University. At CBI, he engaged in troop education and made wire recordings of air and ground combat for the Armed Forces Radio Network, and he also reported from the eastern and western fronts for the army newspaper CBI Roundup. During this period, he developed skills and qualities that showed up in his subsequent career as a pioneer of television journalism. This article draws upon the author’s interviews with wartime associates as well as Friendly’s private papers, which were recently transferred to the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University.
This is the fourth in 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.
Rabotnitsa, the oldest Russian magazine for women, has a long history. It started in 1914 before the October Revolution and not only survived rigid Communist Party censorship but became the most popular publication in the Soviet Union. This article looks at the strengths and the strategies that made this long and successful history possible, paying attention to the various topics that were written about in the magazine as well as the types of photographs that appeared and the changes that occurred over time. It concludes that women readers not only wanted to compare their lives with those of other women, but they sought standards and social ideas that they could emulate while adhering to party requirements. In Rabotnitsa, Soviet women found a friend, an advisor, a consultant, and an entertainer.
This article examines newspaper coverage of the Triangle fire of 1911, focusing on the issue of labor and women’s position in the workplace during the Progressive Era. The treatment of the fire by the four newspapers studied was unique. It focused attention on the working conditions faced by the workers rather than the violence that often resulted from their demands for better conditions. This decried the popular image of women as the “angel of the hearth,” protected andd cosseted by the men in their families, and instead showed them as exploited workers and victims. Publicity about the fire and the ensuing investigations eventually led to the formation of the New York Factory Investigation Commission and sweeping factory safety code regulations.
Sen. J. William Fulbright is famous for his dissent against mainstream foreign policy, but he is less well known for his antipropaganda activism. At a time when critical propaganda analysis had become politically untenable in the United States, he used the power and influence of his position to keep the remnants of the interwar era’s antipropaganda movement alive. As the powerful chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he investigated and publicized domestic propaganda activities organized by government, calling attention to their escalation and warning Americans about the dangers to democratic institutions. This article traces and analyzes his activism and argues that for much of the latter half of the twentieth century, Fulbright was the unacknowledged leader of a dispersed and disorganized opposition to propaganda.
This article tells the story of Nancy Heart of Georgia, a colorful Revolutionary War heroine whose feats have been recounted in newspapers, magazines, history books, and public speeches for more than 175 years. It illustrates important symbiotic relationships between the nineteenth-century press, published histories, and regional memory. The purpose is not to argue that either journalists, historians, or word-of-mouth accounts contributed more to the legend of Hart, but to draw attention to how the three interacted and informed each other. It argues regional memory is an important part of American collective memory, and the press, through its unique form of storytelling, contributes to regional and national mythology by amplifying and legitimizing it for a larger audience.
This article examines the connotative evolution of the term “publicity.” An historical analysis of articles written in magazines, journals, and newspapers from 1890 to 1930 illustrates how corporations and government co-opted ideas of the progressive movement into self-serving practices. Progressives viewed publicity as a moral reform that would open politics and business to public scrutiny and help prevent corruption. Over time, publicity evolved into a communication strategy for corporations seeking public approval. This study found that the change from a “broad searchlight” of publicity to a “narrow flashlight” of positive information in the hands of public relations experts allowed business and government to shape public opinion rather than be influenced by it.
This is the fifth in what is 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.
Volume 31, No. 1, Spring 2005
On December 3, 1847, the black abolitionist Frederick Douglass published the first issue of the North Star in Rochester, New York. This article examines his earliest moments as a journalist by studying the responses of the city’s white dailies to his new career and his newspaper in late 1847 and early 1848. The comments of the city’s four dailies, along with accounts of a printers’ dinner in January 1848 celebrating Benjamin Franklin’s birthday, showed respect for Douglass’ talents as an editor but wariness over his Garrisonian abolitionism. The stories suggested that a tension existed between the daily journalists’ politics and their nascent professionalism and illuminated changes in the craft as it moved from political organs of the early century toward an independent press.
The “Port Arthur Massacre” holds a prominent place in journalism history for the sensationalist accounts by some western correspondents of the slaughter of the city’s Chinese inhabitants by conquering Japanese troops in November 1894. Most representative of these accounts were those of James Creelman of the New York World. Forgotten in the history of the wartime reporting for Port Arthur, however, are the accounts of A.B. de Guerville, a special correspondent for the New York Herald, who, as an eyewitness of the fall of the city, flatly denied Creelman’s account of a massacre. This article seeks an explanation behind the widely divergent accounts of these two American reporters, and in so doing details the complex combination of factors—personal, professional, and political—that influenced the way the fall of Port Arthur was reported.
In an era when many newspapers resisted opening their news columns to interpretive articles because editors held to the concept of objective journalism, the National Observer demonstrated a commitment to news interpretation of cultural, political, and social events and issues. For fifteen years it prominently displayed interpretive articles on its front page and often on its special-focus back page without labeling them “news analysis,” which was the custom of the time. The articles explored and explained the causes and effects of some of the major events and issues of the era, emphasizing good writing and solid reporting. Although the weekly newspaper failed to attract advertisers and eventually ceased publishing, it appealed to a sizable number of subscribers throughout its lifetime and received recognition for its quality journalism.
Ralph Waldo Tyler, an Ohio newspaper man and political operative, was the only African-American accredited by the U.S. government as a war correspondent in World War I. As an employee of the Committee on Public Information, he also served as an observer of prejudice in the Allied Expeditionary Force for Emmett J. Scott, special assistant to the secretary of war for race relations. This article examines the scope of Tyler’s war correspondence and the difficulties he faced in carrying out his dual roles as a journalist and a government employee. It concludes that he provided admirable service to the government, the soldiers he wrote about, the black press, and his readers. This research is based primarily on dispatches that Tyler sent from the front and materials in the National Archives and in the Scott papers at the Soper Library of Morgan State University.
This is the sixth in what is 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.
Volume 31, No. 2, Summer 2005
This article tests the credibility of the 1982 internal CBS News investigation known as the Benjamin Report, which concluded that the CBS Reports documentary “The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception” violated networks standards. This report has yet to be critiqued as an historical artifact or tested against primary documents. Historical analysis reveals the Benjamin Report exhibited many of the deficiencies attributed to the documentary. This analysis begins with the confluence of journalism and military intelligence leading up to the documentary, and this is followed by interpretations of the importance of the documentary, the relationship between journalism and American intelligence issues, and the association between the Benjamin Report and the history of the New York Times Co. v. Sullivan.
This is the seventh in a series of articles on archival collection of interest to 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 article explores the process by which Israeli journalists in the 1950s and the 1960s forged a communal identity by thinking and writing about issues such as the importance of the journalistic profession, sources of their professional authority, reporting conventions, and their assessments of good and bad journalism and the appropriate ways to distinguish between them. It also explores how fundamental tensions between ideological and professional affiliations were concretized via various journalistic “areas of contention.” Thus, it indicates how debates over specific issues, such as preferred journalistic writing styles or the optimal relations between the Israeli media and military censors, could be better understood within the larger context of this process of journalistic self-definition.
In seventeenth-century France, newspapers, which were subject to pre-publication censorship, served as instruments of propaganda for the monarchy, and the Gazette of Theophraste Renaudot was no exception. But in December 1633, he published a retraction for a public conference he held on the heliocentric system and included the Inquistion’s sentence against Galileo and condemnation of the Copernican system, which were unknown to most scholars. This article takes the so-called retraction as a point of departure to examine his purpose in its publication and the flow of information between public and private channels. Letters and conference proceedings suggest he planned to call attention to the astronomical content of future conferences. Furthermore, he placed “privileged information” in the public domain. The possibility of censorship catalyzed French scholars to publish pro-Copernican texts abroad as well as in France by using evasive strategies.
Whether they stayed home to keep the newspaper presses running or tramped off to the front lines, southern printers provided essential labor for the Confederate cause during the Civil War. Around three-quarters of the South’s printers served in the Confederate army, leaving only a handful of men at home to produce newspapers, which was the only medium where citizens could learn about the progress of the war. Most printers of the Civil War period, though, due to the un-public nature of their jobs, have remained largely invisible to history. This article presents a demographic analysis of a handful of Confederate printers and examines the nature of their work, both at home and in the military. The window into the backshop that this provides will give readers a better understanding of the role, the function, and the experiences of southern newspapers during the Civil War.
Volume 31, No. 3, Fall 2005
Many scholars and other observers of U.S. press coverage of the Vietnam War have criticized the media for showing each too much or too little. Some have changed the press with sensationalizing the war’s difficulties, while others have pointed out their reproduction of the official, optimistic viewpoint, particularly before the Tet offensive of early 1968. This article takes the middle ground, accepting and modifying elements of both positions in this highly partisan debate. Using stories from both print and television, it argues that journalists presented disturbing portraits of the American GI and the war before Tet, alongside more optimism dispatches. Despite common assertions about the shattering effect of the Tet offensive, press coverage of those attacks repeated, albeit in more dramatic and consistent fashion, earlier gestures about the war’s dark sides.
From 1901 to 1917, the Lackawanna Railroad waged an advertising and publicity campaign featuring an illustrated woman named Phoebe Snow, who rode the trains dressed in white and never got dirty and whose serialized adventures unfolded in seventy advertisements. She may have been the first advertising celebrity of the modern era, and fans imagined her as real, thanks to newspaper reporters who rode the trains with and interviewed the model who posed as “Phoebe.” This journalistic coverage appeared at a time when railroads needed to improve their public image and promote passenger travel; newspapers were increasingly dependent on advertising revenue; and the emerging profession of publicity blurred the definition of news. Drawing on rhetorical and discourse theory, this article constructs a picture of this early media celebrity and offers a case study in the emergence of publicity as the intersection of journalism and advertising.
Melvin Dwindell, the editor of the Rome (Georgia) Courier, was on the most prolific and skilled Confederate correspondents of the Civil War. For two-and-a-half years, the Confederate officer gave readers of his newspaper information about the war from a hometown perspective. His more than 200 letters to the Courier also provide valuable insight into the war experiences of a small-town Civil War editor in the South and reveal how one enterprising editor managed to live as a soldier and report on the war, all the while finding a way to keep his newspaper publishing as long as possible. Moreover, his dedication to regularly sending letters back to the Courier was a clear indication of the growing importance that news held for rural newspapers.
A systematic survey based on extensive research in Indiana newspapers and archival sources reveal that violence against the newspaper press, both Democratic and Republican, was widespread during the Civil War. Most violence was directed at Democratic newspapers and editors with Union soldiers perpetrating the violence and threats of violence in the majority of cases. Ideologically driven troops, disgusted by what they perceived to be “fire in the rear” disloyalty by Democrats, took violent steps to punish “treasonable” speech; and civilian authority was often powerless to stop soldiers, who were rarely called to account for their deeds. This article finds far more instances of violence, coercion, threats, and arrest than previous studies and points to the partisan nature of the press as a key factor in understanding why and how violence occurred.