|Reimold, Daniel. “Sexual, Revolutionary: The First U.S. College Newspaper Sex Column, 1996-97.” 101-110.|
Willis, L. Anne. “Press Control During Auburn University’s Desegregation.” 70-78.
Volume 33, No. 3, Fall 2007
Copeland, David A. “A Series of Fortunate Events: Why People Believed Richard Adams Locke’s ‘Moon Hoax.’” 140-150.
Henry, Susan. “‘We Must Not Forget That We Are Dealing with a Woman’: Jane Grant’s Return to a Magazine and a Cause.” 151-162.
Watson, Roxanne. “Marcus Garvey’s Trial for Seditious Libel in Jamaica.” 173-184.
Volume 33, No. 4, Winter 2008
Ross, Felecia Jones. “The Cleveland Call and Post and the Election of Carl B. Stokes.” 215-223.
Willey, Susan K. “Founding of the Dallas Morning News’ Religion Section.” 194-204.
Volume 34, No. 1, Spring 2008
Cole, Jaci and John Maxwell Hamilton. “Another Test of the News: American Partisan Press Coverage of the French Revolution.” 34-
Gustafson, Kristin L. “Constructions of Responsibility for Three 1920 Lynchings in Minnesota Newspapers: Marginalization of Peop
Volume 34, No. 2, Summer 2008
Gabrial, Brian. “A Crisis of ‘Americanism’: Newspaper Coverage of John Brown’s Raid at Harper’s Ferry and a Question of Loyalty.
Peeples, Matthew. “Creating Political Authority: The Role of the Antebellum Black Press in the Political Mobilization and Empowe
Smith, Reed. “How Two Veteran Journalists in Opposing Media Encouraged a Sense of Community in a Georgia Town.” 107-116.
Mellinger, Gwyneth. “The ASNE and Desegregation: Maintaining the White Prerogative in the Face of Change.” 135-144.
Spaulding, Stacy. “Totalitarian Refugee or Fascist Mistress? Comparing Lisa Sergio’s Autobiography to her FBI File.” 145-154.
Hume, Janice. “Public Memory, Cultural Legacy, and Press Coverage of the Juneteenth Revival.” 155-162.
Abrahamson, David. “The Jungle at 100: A Century of Journalism Reform.” 163-173.
This article details the events, individuals, and issues connected with the start of “Sex on Tuesday,” the first and longest-running college newspaper sex column nationwide, which was (and continues to be) published in The Daily Californian, the independent student newspaper at the University of California. Utilizing an examination of the first semester’s sixteen columns and interviews with editors of the paper as well as the first columnist, the study shows that the staff’s chief legacy was its recognition of, and courage to act upon, the students’ interest in sex even though some readers were alienated. The column is significant for pioneering content that continues to reverberate in academic, journalistic, and larger societal pools, existing over the past decade as one of the most publicized, electrifying, and divisive phenomena in student journalism at the higher education level.
During the five years of the South Florida land boom, cities grew rapidly and the populations skyrocketed. This article examines the three themes used in the northern mainstream press and two Florida newspapers to portray the boom: a vision of paradise, the Everglades as a cornucopia, and easy money on the last frontier. At the same time, naturalists decried the loss of habitat and press organizations sought to establish a code of ethics to limit corporate influence on news content. The results of this study suggest that the press contributed to the land-buying frenzy with numerous promotional articles and avoided any mention of a negative impact on the environment, although that information was available, while viewing the code of ethics as a formality that had little impact on their portrayal of what was occurring in Florida.
Desegregation at the universities of Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama in 1956 to 1963 was marked by both violence and considerable press attention, not only locally and regionally but nationally. Although forced to integrate in 1964, Auburn University’s experience is less well known than that of its sister schools because press coverage of the event was controlled by President Ralph B. Draughon. This article helps alleviate the scarcity of research on news coverage of school desegregation by examining how the university effectively restricted the media in their ability to collect news. If some of Auburn’s tactics were used today, they would be considered unconstitutional because they would: undermine a free press, censor a student newspaper, and restrict the media’s access to a university, which is public property.
This article examines the integration of the Chicago Cubs as it was anticipated, chronicled, and contextualized by the Chicago Defender, the city’s largest black newspaper during the 1950s. The Cubs’ additions of Ernie Banks and Gene Baker late in the 1953 season are placed into the black community’s social and cultural contexts of the time. Examined are the loyalties and cleavages of the south side, loyalties that were already divided among the White Sox, which had integrated several seasons earlier, and the Negro American League, which was struggling to survive (and losing that struggle). Also studied is the reluctance with which the Cubs finally integrated, a late-season decision made almost seven full seasons after Jackie Robinson broke major league baseball’s color bar as a member of the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers.
In August 1835, the New York Sun published a series that came to define for media historians the sensational nature of penny-press news when Richard Adams Locke’s story of the discovery of life on the moon captured national attention. What seems to contemporary readers as an obvious fabrication was accepted at the time as factual because the Moon Hoax was a series based in the contemporary wisdom of the age. Everyone believed intelligent life existed on other planets, and Locke used this wisdom along with some fortunate events—the return of Halley’s Comet, astronomist John Herschel’s trip to South Africa, and the demise of the Edinburgh Journal of Science—to create a series that initially fooled everyone. It built upon what had appeared in newspapers, almanacs, books, journals, and religious commentary for centuries.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony’s The Revolution (1868-70) is a central text in the history of the woman suffrage movement, but the contentious weekly also was part of a highly competitive nineteenth-century publishing market. This article examines the celebrated weekly’s advertising and circulation practices. Such a reading brings to the surface not simply a woman suffrage newspaper but the threads of three different publications at three points in the weekly’s short history: a national opinion weekly, a labor reform publication, and a women’s literary or parlor magazine. Together the changes that show up in content and positioning over this period attest to Stanton’s and Anthony’s active efforts to reposition their weekly to gain both new audiences and new advertisers.
When Jane Grant divorced Harold Ross in 1929, it appeared her involvement in The New Yorker, which she had helped him found, would end. Yet her risk-taking nature, problem-solving skills, and financial stake in the magazine inspired her to lead a 1942 shareholders revolt and then to spearhead the creation of a highly—and unexpectedly—successful edition for soldiers overseas. This helped her negotiate a consulting position at the magazine. An almost equally surprising feat was her revival of the Lucy Stone League in the anti-feminist 1950s. After broadening its purpose beyond helping married women keep their birth names, she energetically led its fight for women’s rights. In both endeavors she had the unconditional support of her second husband, William Harris, with whom she founded a pioneering retail nursery, White Flower Farm.
In the period after Marcus Garvey’s return to Jamaica from the United States, the civil rights leader was welcomed as a hero by the poorer classes but was viewed with suspicion by the authorities, who feared his popularity and his reputation. In 1930, he was charged, prosecuted, and convicted of seditious libel. Although his conviction was ultimately overturned in the Court of Appeal for procedural reasons, his trial and conviction for sedition was one way in which the authorities tried to abort his controversial political programs to uplift the black race. This article traces his trial as an example of how the legal system in post-emancipation colonial Jamaica was used to abort Garvey’s fledgling political movement.
This article examines how local newspapers covered the attempted enrollment and subsequent legal fight that African American journalist Lucile Bluford waged against the University of Missouri, the birthplace of journalism education, in 1939. The case rose in the shadow of the U.S. Supreme Court’s better known Lloyd Gaines decision, which was the NAACP’s most significant challenge of the separate but equal doctrine arising from Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896. The school’s first dean and patriarch, Walter Williams, called for reporters to battle injustice and to remain objective in “The Journalist’s Creed.” This became a hallmark of the school and journalists worldwide, and reporters covering the Bluford case learned the creed from Williams’ disciples. However, this study shows they failed to follow it.
Because of a series of editorial apologies for neglecting coverage of the civil rights movement, this article examines coverage of the 1963 Birmingham campaign in five prestige dailies to explore the social construction of news and the relationship between news organizations, their subjects, and their audiences. This study considers survey data that indicated regional attitudes toward civil rights and found coverage did not always reflect the views of a paper’s readers. Southern newspapers tended to discredit movement leaders and their agenda, as well as to emphasize law enforcement’s preparedness, while northern and western papers were sympathetic to the movement. The study specifically considers why a midwest paper was hostile to the movement in contradiction to its readers’ pro-integration attitude.
This article examines the Village Voice’s coverage of Greenwich Village’s growing folk music scene. The Village’s “folk problem” had three manifestations: the contentious role that folk played in changing the community dynamics of the Village; the issues of taste raised by folk as a new genre of music; and disputes within the folk community over commercialization, popularization, and electrification. The study argues that the Voice’s approaches to folk expanded readers’ notions of popular music journalism and criticism, giving additional insight into the origins, purposes, and methods of critical consecration and serious writing about music. It also contends that the paper’s popular music criticism deserves a more prominent place in journalism history, popular music studies, and mass communications.
When Carl B. Stokes was elected the first African-American mayor of a major U.S. city (Cleveland) in 1967, it was considered a symbol of achievement for the nation’s ongoing civil rights movement. Although national and local mainstream media paid considerable attention to his successful campaign, little attention has been given to the role his city’s African-American newspaper played. The Cleveland Call and Post did not merely chronicle Stokes’ campaign; it actively mobilized the African-American community to realize its political strength, and it challenged the white community to exercise racial tolerance to make history. The paper’s crusade further exemplified the role and viability of the African-American press during their struggle to find their place among daily media sources that also covered the African-American community.
When the Dallas Morning News teamed up with Freedom Forum consultants to plan a new religion section, the process involved leaders of all faith groups in the city. The six-page section debuted in December 1994 and was an immediate success, winning numerous awards and drawing accolades from journalism organizations because it was a commitment by a major news organization to produce good religion coverage and help legitimize religion as an important news beat. The section encouraged other newspapers to either begin or to expand their religion sections. But in January 2007, the section was cut and allocated to several pages in the metro section, a victim of financial pressures affecting newspapers. This article tracks the planning and development of the section and how it fit the culture of the times.
This article examines letters to the editor published in the Woman’s Journal, an eight-page woman’s suffrage newspaper published weekly and distributed nationally, from 1870 to 1890. Letters to the editor provide insight into the workers of the movement, who may not have been able to attend conventions or meet with like-minded women. Although much has been written about the leaders of the American woman’s suffrage movement, little is known about the average suffragist. This study shows that readers of the Journal used consciousness-raising rhetoric similar to the genre of women’s liberation rhetoric of the twentieth-century women’s rights movement. Thus, the press was an interactive communication partner that enabled them to form a community of geographically separated suffragists.
In a pioneering content analysis published in the New Republic in 1920, journalists Walter Lippmann and Charles Merz assessed the New York Times coverage of the Russian revolution. They concluded that the Times’ reporters and editors tended to report the news as they wished it to be. “The news,” they wrote, “is dominated by the hopes of the men who composed the news organization.” While scholars have used this concept to study the coverage of subsequent revolutions, this is the first content analysis to look back at the French Revolution in the late 1700s. It finds, as Lippmann and Merz did, that “hope and fear” shaped coverage by the partisan press. That journalism in two very different periods had similar tendencies suggests the inherent difficulty of covering a revolution in any time period with a press of any type.
This article examines the economic and editorial concerns that Texas editors faced during the Civil War from 1861 to 1865. It asks two questions: Did the state’s geographic distance from most battles make its newspapers immune from the financial and editorial difficulties that other southern editors faced, or did the largely frontier conditions make publishing a more financially precarious occupation for its editors during the war years? The study reveals that despite Texas’ geographic distance from most of the battles, its editors and publishers endured the same economic and news gathering hardships as did their counterparts in other Confederate states. Furthermore, the state’s thinly spread population and its lack of a manufacturing base left its editors particularly unprepared for the financial hardships and the shortage of raw materials that occurred during the war.
For decades, Minnesota history books omitted the 1920 lynchings of three black men by a mob in one of the largest cities, and residents seemed to forget or “bury” it. This study explored how initial coverage of the event in seventeen Minnesota newspapers constructed responsibility for the lynchings and likely shaped perceptions that might explain their seeming absence from collective memory. Coverage in the newspapers showed: several constructions of responsibility for the lynchings; dominant voices that reinforced the dominant constructions; reinforcement of a dominant white social structure and institutions, such as the police and law enforcement mechanisms; and what was not reported or was slighted, such as certain ideas and voices of black and white women and black men. Ultimately, this showed that the coverage contributed to hegemony through marginalizing some groups, individuals, and ideas related to it.
This article argues that geography played an important role in shaping the readership of the Ladies’ Home Journal in the early and mid-twentieth century. It draws upon circulation records of Curtis Publishing Company and the Audit Bureau of Circulations, using them to map state distribution of the Journal in six periods from 1911 to 1955. Although the magazine’s geographic identity shifted somewhat during that period, it showed a clear split between the South and the rest of the country. In exploring readership patterns, the article argues that the Journal provided an important cultural tie between West and East while the South, in large part, remained isolated. This suggests researchers must begin to see magazine audiences in regional terms, just as they do forms of fiction writing, social interaction, and ways of life.
America’s post-riot era was a time of unfulfilled expectations for those concerned with newsroom staffing. The Kerner Commission said blacks should be trained, hired, and promoted in mainstream media, yet few news managers moved beyond tokenism to diversify what had been a white domain. In 1968, broadcaster Fred W. Friendly crafted a summer program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism that would graduate 223 minority trainees over seven years. Some became reporters, news anchors, media executives, and producers, although many left journalism for other careers. In a study more than thirty years after the project closed, participants discussed what they saw in newsrooms during this era of social change, and their recollections reflect the idealism that fueled this early effort in media hiring reform.
John Brown’s October 16, 1859, raid at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, created a flashpoint in the United States, sparking what can be called a “Crisis of Americanism.” As this article shows, evidence of this discourse appeared frequently in extensive southern and northern newspaper coverage of his raid, trial, and subsequent hanging on December 2 as editors on both sides of the slavery issue accused one another as well as prominent Americans of disloyal, treasonous behavior. This unhealthy, often shrill, debate, which helped lead to the Civil War in 1861, hardly promoted democratic ideals or best served the nation’s values and founding ideals. Instead, such incendiary rhetoric only added to the increasing division of two Americas, both of which laid valid claims to being rightful heirs to the legacy of the United States’ founding.
From its beginnings in the 1820s, African-American newspapers have always been a strong and vocal ally for the rights of blacks throughout the United States. This article delineates how and why these papers from the mid-1830s to the Civil War became important as platforms of political agency for those who were denied conventional means of political participation in the government. In particular, this study focuses on four avenues through which the newspapers were utilized to afford political agency to Africans Americans: the material and rhetorical support of black suffrage; the promotion and facilitation of public protest; the promotion of material and moral elevation; and the creation and promotion of a black national and historical identity. The success of the black press in these areas set a precedent for all subsequent African-American political struggles.
In the latter half of the twentieth century, a print and a broadcast journalist collectively reported on the people and events in Savannah, Georgia, for more than 100 years. As exceptional as their record of longevity, however, was the way in which they went about their jobs. Newspaperman Tom Coffey and TV anchor Doug Weathers practiced “community journalism,” not only reporting upon their audiences but forming a mutually beneficial relationship with them. It is an approach whose beginnings date to the earliest days of American journalism but whose practice is becoming increasingly rare today. This article explores how these two men defined their daily work in a distinctive manner and the impact their efforts had on the community as they worked with the people of Savannah rather than trying significantly to alter things.
Starting a newspaper in the nineteenth century was a risky business, and this was especially true in the Civil War South where invading armies, spiraling inflation, and conscription laws were constant threats to physical facilities, financial success, and manpower. Despite this, North Carolina Governor Zebulon B. Vance and the state’s Conservative political party found the money and the will to establish a new daily to support the his re-election bid in 1864. Campaign papers were common in the 1800s, but while most shut down following an election, the Conservative continued to publish after Vance won. Records and archives document how it was financed, equipped, and staffed, providing an unprecedented glimpse into what it took to start a newspaper not only in the nineteenth century but during America’s bloodiest war.
Volume 34, No. 3, Fall 2008
Before possession of hallucinogens was made a federal crime, LSD was the subject of numerous stories in Time and Life magazines, many of which described the experience in glowing terms. The drug was frequently discussed as a scientific marvel that had the potential to enhance or induce religious experience, and this “instant mysticism” was often described in Christian and biblical terms. Letters and acid-trip journals in the papers of Clare Boothe Luce, the wife of Time and Life publisher Henry Luce, and other documentary evidence show that the extensive and largely positive coverage of LSD in these magazines was consistent with the beliefs of the Luces. The publisher remained enthusiastic about LSD even as recreational use of the drug was growing, and he made his views on the drug known to subordinates at the magazines.
During the 1950s, the American Society of Newspaper Editors became the site of an ideological struggle between the racial status quo and the new social order envisioned by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. This article examines the all-white ASNE in the years after Brown as the racial exclusivity of the organization and the profession it represented were both questioned and reaffirmed. Using a variety of primary source documents, including ASNE publications, convention transcripts, and members’ archival materials, this project isolates the ways in which the white prerogative reasserted itself through the exclusivity of the ASNE membership structure, the usage of regional history and identity by editors from the South, and the manipulation of the journalistic ideal of objectivity and First Amendment values.
Did Italian propaganda broadcaster Lisa Sergio, who claimed to have been Europe’s first female radio announcer, flee Italy in 1937 because she became an anti-fascist (as she claimed) or because she boasted too much about affairs with high fascist officials (as her FBI file asserted)? This article examines Sergio’s writings and her 300-page FBI file to attempt to determine which story was true. But troubling aspects of her autobiography surfaced (such as dramatic narrative arcs and factual inconsistencies), suggesting that factual analysis alone cannot fully explain the discrepancies. This study borrowed a framework from autobiographical theorists and scholars to show that these writings were a performance for the U.S. audience: an act of identity, gender, and culture, concealing a hidden subtext of historical agency.
Following the Civil War, African Americans in Texas celebrated their emancipation with an annual holiday known as “Juneteenth.” The celebration migrated to other areas of the country, and over the past several years there has been a concerted effort to establish it as a national holiday. Using the recent revival and diffusion of Juneteenth as its focal point, this article examines local press coverage of the celebration in four states. The coverage illustrates how journalists invoke history to explain current events and also highlights the changing, fluid nature of public memory. In contrast to the view of history as a fixed, stable account of past events, the evidence reveals that the historical record is continually changing based upon contemporary concerns, political motivations, and, in this particular case, the ongoing integration of African Americans into American society.
It has been just over 100 years since the publication of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, which certainly was a keystone in the arch of American’s literature of reform. By means of a reconsideration at the work’s centennial, these four essays explore a variety of historical issues: the origins and progress of the reformist impulse in U.S. journalism; the varied literary roots of American journalistic practices; the unresolved tensions between fictive and nonfictive writing; and the historiographic issues raised by the recent discovery of an unpublished, significantly longer version of the work. As an inspiration to all muckraking journalists over the years, the seminal position of The Jungle in American letters is matched by few other works. It is hoped these essays will encourage a diverse conversation about the book, its causes, and its effects.
Volume 34, No. 4, Winter 2009
Until the early twentieth century, Park Row was synonymous with New York newspapers. Of the newspapers that left Park Row, the New York Times was notable for having established a geographic landmark that was identified with the newspaper. In fact, by 1906, Times Square had replaced Park Row as a place for New Yorkers to get election night news or to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Nevertheless, Times Square did not remain associated with its newspaper namesake, and today a successor to the “zipper” is the last physical reminder of the paper’s presence in this area of New York City. Drawing on the Archives of the New York Times Company, this article traces the history of Times Square from the construction of Times Tower through the twentieth century as the Times lost its identity as the neighborhood’s namesake.
The conservative newspaper columnist Westbrook Pegler was notorious for his enmity towards Eleanor Roosevelt, but according to previous scholarship she dismissed his criticism as insignificant. Scholars have depicted Roosevelt as a staunch champion of free speech rights and a strident critic of the FBI’s intrusion into domestic politics. In late 1942, however, she asked the FBI to launch a wartime sedition investigation that aimed to link Pegler to the fascist enemy. This was six months after she had contemplated proposing a joint conference with him to consider the problem of union abuses. These overlooked episodes contradict the standard depiction of Roosevelt’s response to Pegler and are a reminder of the news media’s central role during World War II in efforts to support or attack the growing power of organized labor.
This article explores the national discussion in 1900 about press responsibility, which was sparked by the Rev. Charles Sheldon, a pastor of a Congregationalist church, serving a week-long stint as editor of the Topeka (Kansas) Daily Capital. Afterward, the general consensus of the reams of commentary, from both the press and the pastorate, was that editing a daily paper from a “Christian point of view” was a failure. Nevertheless, the debate revealed the pulpit’s acknowledgement of its conferral of the role of agent of education and moral uplift upon the press, making it the new arbiter of public opinion. However, it also showed the pulpit challenging the notion of journalistic objectivity as it struggled to redefine news as interpretive and advocative in order to comport with a journalistic ideal grounded in the gospel.
In the early days of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, a progressive Harvard Law professor and a conservative New York editorial page editor began a correspondence that lasted twenty years. The Democratic jurist and future Supreme Court Justice, Felix Frankfurter, had helped found the American Civil Liberties Union and the New Republic. His Republican journalistic cohort, Geoffrey Parsons, wrote for the New Deal’s leading opponent, the New York Herald Tribune. Their correspondence reveals the evolution of a relationship between a journalist and a public figure and shows the mindset of the anonymous editor and the effect his editorial page had on an observer “not of his party.” In the correspondence, the law served as “the cohesive power of a free society” and a common bond between political adversaries.