|Wilson, Keith. “‘The Beginning of the End:’ An Analysis of British Newspaper Coverage of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.” 2|
Volume 35, No. 1, Spring 2009
Cleary, Johanna. “‘Genet’ on the Air: Janet Flanner’s Wartime Broadcasts.” 34-41.
Sumpter, Randall S. “Core Knowledge: Early Reporting Textbooks and the Formation of Professional Identity.” 42-52.
Volume 35, No. 2, Summer 2009
Haygood, Daniel Marshall. “Henry Luce’s Anti-Communist Legacy: An Analysis of U.S. News Magazines’ Coverage of China’s Cultural
Roessner, Amber. “Uncovering Sources Hidden Under your Nose: Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections at the University of
Kaszuba, Dave. “Ringside, Hearthside: Sports Scribe Jane Dixon Embodies Struggle of Jazz Age Women Caught Between Two Worlds.” 1
Mellen, Roger P. “Thomas Jefferson and the Origins of Newspaper Competition in Pre-Revolutionary Virginia.” 151-161.
Coyle, Erin. “The Moral Duty of Publicity: Louis Dembitz Brandeis’ Crusades for Reform in the Press and Public Affairs.” 162-167
Bates, Stephen. “Mixed Motives Behind a Pulitzer: The Pecos Independent and Enterprise and Billie Sol Estes.” 205-215.
Volume 36, No. 1, Spring 2010
Voss, Kimberly Wilmot. “Dorothy Jurney: A National Advocate for Women’s Pages as They Evolved and Then Disappeared.” 13-22.
Flamiano, Dolores. “Japanese American Internment in Popular Magazines: Race, Citizenship, and Gender in World War II Photojourna
Watts, Liz. “Covering Eleanor Roosevelt: Associated Press Reporter Bess Furman and Four Years with the First Lady.” 45-54.
Volume 36, No. 2, Summer 2010
Lorenz, Larry. “‘With Bowed Heads and Brows Abashed:’ The Press of New Orleans under General Benjamin Butler.” 72-82.
Roessner, Lori Amber. “Remembering ‘The Georgia Peach:’ Popular Press, Public Myth, and the Shifting Legacy of an (Anti) Hero.”
Thornton, Brian. “The Murder of Emmett Till: Myth, Memory, and National Magazine Response.” 96-104.
Although negative perceptions of the character of African Americans were at the center of the British press debate over the merits of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, it was the way that his character was portrayed that gave it potency and direction. Editors who opposed the Proclamation besmirched him in a way that enabled them to argue that they were not defending slavery but keeping their commentary within Britain’s popular anti-slavery traditions. In contrast, those papers which supported the Proclamation believed he was a liberal statesman who shared the core moral values of the British. Because the debate occurred when newspapers were undergoing profound and innovative changes, this helped shape the character of the debate, increased its intensity, and provided a commentary on the evolving nature of British newspaper journalism.
Fred Friendly’s NBC radio series in 1950, “The Quick and the Dead,” represented a key moment in the evolution of broadcast news documentaries as it examined the creation of the atomic bomb, the looming prospect of the hydrogen bomb, and the potential benefits of atomic energy. It aired at a charged historical moment just after the outbreak of the Korean War and not long after the announcement that America would begin work on an H-bomb in response to the Soviets’ acquisition of atomic weaponry. The program also bridged the news and entertainment worlds by featuring Bob Hope and New York Times science reporter William Laurence along with many key figures in the bomb’s development. It exemplified journalism’s ambivalence toward the new atomic age while pointing the way toward Friendly’s legendary work with Edward R. Murrow at CBS.
This article examines Lydia Maria Child’s editorship of the National Anti-Slavery Standard, the newspaper of the American Anti-Slavery Society, from 1841-43. Before becoming the editor, she edited her own magazine for children, worked with her husband at their newspaper, and wrote numerous fiction and nonfiction works for juveniles and adults. As an editor, she espoused objectivity, derided sensationalism, and applied her own inclusive formula for building circulation, emphasizing material with broad appeal to both men and women while reducing the emphasis on politics. She succeeded in doubling the Standard’s circulation but did not satisfy the more strident members of the AASS, who wanted more militancy. She also introduced a popular personal column, “Letters to New-York,” which attracted wide attention.
The Citizens’ Council of Mississippi emerged from the cotton fields of the Mississippi Delta to protest the Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. More than half of white Mississippians were determined to protect the public schools’ segregated classrooms and supported the organized resistance movement with enthusiasm and determination. The Council relied heavily on a deliberate and strategic PR initiative to gain support for its ideals and initiatives with leaders polishing the use of traditional public relations tools and becoming savvy users of developing media technologies. This article explores how the organization’s use of PR during the anti-civil rights movement relates to James E. Grunig’s and Todd Hunt’s widely accepted historical model that represents the development of the public relations profession.
For fifty years, journalist Janet Flanner wrote a bi-weekly “Letter from Paris” column for the New Yorker magazine. While her professional legacy included influencing American literary journalism by developing the journalistic essay, she also recorded a little-known series of radio commentaries in 1945-46 from the hotspots of Europe in the critical months surrounding the end of World War II. This article offers a detailed examination of the content and themes of those commentaries. It notes her focus on deprivations caused by the war and its aftermath, the plight of women in the war-ravaged countries, the post-war political landscape in France and Italy, and the obligation of the Allies to help rebuild France and Italy. The study concludes that her foray into radio was an important indicator of the growing significance of this medium.
This analysis of six influential reporting textbooks published during the first two decades of the twentieth century found that they helped create journalism’s professional identity in two ways. The books and their authors, who in most cases taught journalism on the university level, identified the four basic problems of journalism for students: how to recognize news, how to assign it a value, how to collect it, and how to write it. The books, along with a teaching strategy that relied on practical exercises and examples drawn from diverse newspapers, taught students how to solve those problems. The texts and teaching methods also taught journalism students about their place in a distinct professional hierarchy where they exploited sources and readers while obeying editors and publisher.
As the 1950’s drew to a close, Time Incorporated had become one of the most influential publishers in America. Both Time and Life, looking to the future, began to examine youth culture, providing ample space for the coming unsilent generation to address, and at times contest, dominant cultural values. As this generation grew vocal, stories filled with apprehension towards their ideals, but by the end of the 1960’s, Life came to appreciate the hopes of this generation as America’s war in Vietnam faltered and the nation’s politics polarized. Time took a different path, linking failure in Vietnam with youthful dissent and the inability of the nation’s collective will to remedy national problems. This article reconstructs Time’s and Life’s presentation of youth culture in the 1960’s, demonstrating how both magazines sought to define the meaning of that generation’s dissent in the wake of a rapidly changing social order.
This article examines letters sent to the editors of the American Phrenological Journal, a monthly periodical dedicated to the pseudoscience of phrenology. This “rebel medical journal,” which existed on the fringes of nineteenth-century American medical journalism, demonstrated remarkable longevity, remaining in print for more than seventy years. While phrenology is largely remembered because of its prominent practitioners and well-known supporters, letters sent to the journal provide insight into how ordinary individuals engaged with phrenological ideas. Three types of letters were common: those that sang the virtues of phrenology and the APJ; those that contained questions; and those that pointed out problems or concerns with phrenology. The letters showed that readers were drawn to phrenology as an overarching system with far-reaching explanatory power but troubled by its contradictions in detail.
After authoring a groundbreaking book in 1919 about African-American contributions to California history, Delilah Beasley began in 1923 writing a column, “Activities Among Negroes,” for the Oakland Tribune, detailing the lives of African Americans around the country. This made her the first African-American woman to be a regular columnist for a mainstream (predominately white) newspaper. Her columns chronicled a range of activities among the black elite, from the quotidian to the exceptional, and provided white readers with positive portrayals of African Americans that were not commonly available to white audiences. What she wrote often drew the attention of prominent whites in the community, particularly women involved in the progressive movement and women’s clubs, and promoted interracial dialogue in California’s East Bay region.
Journalists, disheartened in the decade after World War I by their role in spreading domestic wartime propaganda, attempted to restore press integrity through new, professional principles and practices. These efforts to re-assert the press’ standing included an active resistance to the contemporaneous rise of propaganda offered by the domestic public relations industry. In particular, newspaper publishers and editors, through the American Newspaper Publishers Association’s anti-publicity bulletin, aggressively called on news workers to resist publicity seekers who undermined the advertising-based economic model of the paper. This movement against space-seeking propagandists provided additional momentum for the advent of a modern professional journalism that ironically finds itself predisposed to use propaganda materials.
Critics have long accused Henry Luce, a fervent anti-Communist, of using his Time, Incorporated media vehicles, particularly Time magazine, to promote causes and governments which he supported, such as General Chiang Kai-shek’s Chinese Nationalist government in the Chinese civil war and pro-American regimes in the Korean and Vietnam wars. The theme throughout was always to fight Communist regimes, and he developed his staff and reporters along this ideological line until he stepped away from his official duties at Time, Inc. leaving the magazines in the hands of seasoned, professional journalists, such as Hedley Donovan. This article analyzes coverage by the leading U.S. news magazines during the early period of the Chinese “Cultural Revolution” to determine if Luce’s anti-Communist legacy remained after he left the organization.
This is the ninth in a series of articles on archival collections 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.
Volume 35, No. 3, Fall 2009
This analysis of twelve black magazines and journals and six black newspapers shows that positive coverage of the women’s movement occurred across a wide spectrum of black periodicals from 1968 through 1973. Although criticism and ridicule of feminism existed in black print media, the periodicals in this study published dozens of editorials, essays, and articles that supported feminist principles of political, economic, and social equality for women. Black newspapers also published numerous notices of feminist meetings and events followed by news accounts of them, which documented black women’s interest and participation in the women’s movement. Eighty of the 216 articles contained positive statements about the women’s movement, sixty articles publicized feminist events, and fifty-six articles had negative statements about the movement.
This article draws on both primary and secondary sources to help understand the evolution of the public relations profession through a biographical analysis of Lorena Hickok, a reporter who was the first woman to have a front-page byline in the New York Times and to hold a PR position in the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration. In examining her lesser-known public relations career at the World’s Fair from 1937 to 1940 and at the Democratic National Committee from 1940 to 1945, the authors found that she implemented asymmetrical public relations and relationship maintenance strategies, which were both forms of a developing managerial function in the public relations field. Information about this period of her work adds to the history of women in political public relations.
This article examines the groundbreaking contributions of Jane Dixon as a New York City sportswriter in the 1920s. She typified the way that most women entered the field: by writing about male sports from a so-called “woman’s angle.” Her stories were especially noteworthy for two reasons: she covered the bloody and unseemly world of boxing more prolifically than perhaps any other woman of the time, thus standing out as a pioneer among her gender; and, despite being assigned to write from a woman’s angle that inevitably stressed stereotypically feminine interests, she also used her writing as a forum to support a progressive feminist agenda. Thus, she reflected the wider, conflicted mood faced by women of the era, who found themselves caught between progressive feminism and a cultural backlash that sought to reprioritize marriage and domesticity.
For 200 years, historians have written that Thomas Jefferson and his fellow patriots brought a second printer into the colony of Virginia so that their radical messages could be heard. By examining newspapers and other evidence from the critical period around the Stamp Act of 1765-66, this article uncovers flaws in that interpretation and attempts a better understanding of what happened and how that influenced the development of a free press. Jefferson was not directly involved in procuring a printer, but new print competition did bring substantial changes to the relationship among the printer, the government, and readers. Broader civic discourse spurred by commercial competition helped to develop new revolutionary ideals, including the concept of a constitutional protection for a free press, which ultimately was expressed in the First Amendment.
Just over a decade after Louis Dembitz Brandeis co-wrote “The Right to Privacy,” which criticized nineteenth-century newspaper journalists’ intrusive practices, the attorney sent articles and research to numerous muckraking journalists. On one level, his involvement with investigative journalists seemingly contradicts that article’s seminal call for judges to sanction gossip-seeking journalists. His correspondence with friends and journalists, however, suggests he was scolding the readers and publishers of keyhole journalists for failing to comprehend the moral duty of publicity. Those letters also indicate he supported muckraking journalism that exemplified his vision for the moral duty of the American press. He recruited journalists to join his campaigns that used publicity to protect individuals against exploitation by keyhole journalists, corporate monopolies, and governors.
This is the tenth in a series of articles on archival collections 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.
Volume 35, No. 4, Winter 2010
Woody Guthrie is widely recognized as a folk singer and songwriter of “This Land Is Your Land” as well as countless other songs, ranging from political material to labor anthems. Less recognized are his contributions to the Communist press, especially his writings for the San Francisco-based People’s World newspaper, for which he composed a regular column and cartoons for eighteen months. This study examines the content of these writings mainly during 1939, when his commentary focused on the conditions and experiences of California’s Dust Bowl migrants. It discusses his role as an advocate for migrants, his unique methods of spelling and composition, and feedback by People’s World readers to his writings, which were composed during a period of tumult in the state.
The press is seminal to our knowledge and control of scientific and technological developments. The photographic essays in the early years of Life afford an opportunity to examine the role of a new medium in constructing narratives that visualized the hopes and priorities of a period when the United States became an international power, which was crucially enhanced by scientific and technological prowess. This study combined three methodological approaches—archival research, textual and narrative analysis, and content analysis—and found that compared to other magazines, Life’s coverage of science and technology was extremely high. Its coverage actualized what James Carey called the “visual society,” which is both created by and made necessary by increasing urbanization and the growth of technologically mediated communication.
In 1962, the Pecos Independent and Enterprise in Texas published a series of articles accusing an unnamed local man of using intermediaries to mortgage thousands of nonexistent fertilizer tanks. The articles triggered the arrest of Billie Sol Estes, a Pecos businessman with Washington connections, and a national scandal resulted: President John F. Kennedy was asked about Estes at a news conference, and several administration officials resigned or were fired for having accepted gifts from Estes. For uncovering the scandal, Oscar Griffin, Jr., editor of the Independent, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1963. This Pulitzer-winning exposé fell outside the traditional template of investigative reporting. The Independent published the stories less for public service than for self-preservation: the newspaper was being bankrupted by Estes’ Pecos Daily News.
In July 1975, a federal judge ordered the Jefferson County, Kentucky, school district to desegregate its public schools by busing 11,000 white students from the county’s predominantly white suburban schools to mostly black Louisville schools and vice-versa. The order sparked a massive anti-busing campaign, including rallies and marches that attracted as many as 12,000 protesters. Busing opponents, the vast majority of whom were white, targeted Louisville’s two daily newspapers, the Courier-Journal and the Times, which backed the busing plan. They boycotted the papers, demonstrated in front of their downtown offices, and published their own newspapers. The Courier-Journal and the Times were indicted because they represented powerful liberal elites whom anti-busers believed had stripped ordinary Americans of their individual rights and freedoms.
Life was hard for Chinese laborers in the American West, and many smoked opium to forget their troubles. When this habit arrived in the Utah Territory in 1869, it alarmed and offended Victorian values and religiously-based moral sensibilities, and even worse, non-Chinese residents began adopting the habit. This article used traditional historical methods to identify and interpret newspaper articles published in Salt Lake City and Ogden, Utah, about people smoking opium. The purpose of the study was to understand how editors and writers interpreted the growing habit and its affect on society, and hegemony theory, based on the writings of Antonio Gramsci, was used to interpret the findings. The article argues that newspapers discouraged opium use and pressured the government to suppress and control its sale in support of community values.
This article explores how Richard H. Rovere’s “Letter from Washington” helped the New Yorker become a prominent voice on U.S. politics in the years following World War II. He combined the style of a literary critic with a detached approach to politics to create a style that distinguished the New Yorker’s Washington reports from those of its competitors and helped shape the magazine’s reputation as a powerful player in the postwar political culture. His consistent support of the anti-Communist foreign policy that was pursued by the Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower administrations reinforced the Cold War consensus in the early 1950s. This article draws on archival materials, including the Rovere and the New Yorker papers, as well as the political pieces that he contributed to the magazine between 1948 and 1954, when he established his reputation as a Washington correspondent.
Dorothy Jurney was a groundbreaking women’s page editor at several newspapers and a long-time advocate for women in journalism. She began her career during the depression after graduating from Northwestern University, and after working on the news side of newspapers during World War II, she moved back to the women’s section. She went on to redefine the content of the sections at the Miami Herald and the Detroit News Press and was called the “godmother of the transformation of the women’s page” by the Washington Press Club Foundation. She retired as an assistant managing editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1975 and then conducted several studies on the lack of women in positions of power at newspapers. Thus, she was a “first” in a number of areas although she was denied numerous opportunities because of her gender.
This article analyzes published photographs of Japanese Americans interned in World War II by Dorothea Lange (1895-1965), Ansel Adams (1902-84), and Carl Mydans (1907-2004) in Survey Graphic, U.S. Camera, and Life respectively. Although their work was constrained by the economic and ideological realities of the war’s photojournalism, they transcended the medium to provide historians with valuable insights into a controversial chapter in our national history when the government felt it was necessary to curtail civil liberties. In addition to reconsidering the existing scholarship on Lange and Adams, this article explores new ground by analyzing the photojournalism of Mydans. This fresh perspective reveals how photojournalism contributed to the visual construction of race, citizenship, and gender.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, literature that reflected changing attitudes toward sexuality, religion, marriage, and government fell victim to the Comstock Act and related state laws on obscenity. Among the earliest individuals convicted was Dr. Edward Bliss Foote for a brochure that promoted birth control, and, he and his son, Dr. Edward Bond Foote, challenged obscenity legislation in Congress, state legislatures, and courts and also offered personal assistance to defendants in free speech cases. From 1872 to 1915, they waged a campaign against obscenity prosecutions that they considered unfair and advocated the right to freely discuss reform issues of the day, many of them sex-related. This study documents the Footes’ free speech work, which brought them into contact with notable personalities of the day.
Between 1933 and 1936, Eleanor Roosevelt changed Associated Press Washington Bureau reporter Bess Furman’s reporting life. She joined the AP in 1929 and was assigned to cover women, but Lou Hoover and other official wives were difficult to cover because of their rule that they were never to be quoted. When Mrs. Roosevelt came to the White House, she changed that by granting access through press conferences, travel, and friendship, and Furman’s reporting changed because of Mrs. Roosevelt’s interest in social problems and her desire to change the bad conditions in the country. Furman now wrote about her efforts as well as those of other women who worked in the Roosevelt administration. She learned about poverty, subsistence farms, and race relations among other social issues through her contact with the first lady, and this eventually led her to a job at the New York Times.
In 1963, young journalist Beverly Rae Kimes, who had dreamed of a job writing about New York City theater, settled for a pay-the-bills job at the fledging Automobile Quarterly magazine, and by 1981, she had become the top editor of the elegant hardcover publication. In a career spanning more than four decades, she wrote hundreds of magazine articles and authored or edited twenty books on the automotive industry as she set high standards for future automotive historians while deftly navigating the male province of auto writing in the 1960s and 1970s. Gaining recognition in this era required trade-offs. This article argues that Kimes succeeded partly by masking her female identity, working longer hours than male colleagues, and carving out a freelance niche in the auto publishing world.
When Major General Benjamin F. Butler took command of Union forces in New Orleans on May 1, 1862, he imposed censorship of the press and put telegraph communications under military control. He was quick to suppress newspapers that he found offensive, although he allowed most to publish again when editors made suitable front-page apologies. He seized two newspapers, however, selling one at an auction and turning the other into an organ for himself, and imprisoned two editors. This article examines the content of the occupation press; the reactions to it of local readers and some northern newspaper correspondents; and the tensions between the commanding general of the outnumbered occupation force and the editors, who were unable to provide their readers with news and comment on all of the important issues of the day.
Often hailed as the greatest player of the Dead-Ball Era, Ty Cobb was the focus of extensive media coverage throughout the twentieth century. This article explores the intersection of popular culture and collective memory by examining the press’ participation in the shifting legacy of one of baseball’s legendary (anti-) heroes. One question guided the narrative: how did the Sporting News and the Atlanta Constitution represent him throughout the century? Overall, more than 325 articles were analyzed from Sporting News, a prominent national periodical, and the Atlanta Constitution, a prominent newspaper in Cobb’s home state, in four twentieth-century eras. The study not only explored the transformation of his legacy in print but grappled with print as a site of public memory, the mechanisms through which public memory is invoked, and the interaction of national and local memory.
The 1955 killing of fourteen-year-old African-American Emmett Till in Mississippi continues to haunt historians, academicians, and students of pop culture with at least four books recently retelling the story of his murder. Much of today’s retrospective discussion of the case is based on two underlying assumptions: his murder received extensive national coverage in 1955, and most Americans were disgusted by the murder and the acquittal of the two confessed killers. This article questions both assumptions by examining the response to the Till murder in ten national magazines and concludes that their coverage was more like a firefly illuminating a small patch of ground brilliantly but only for a second. In the brief afterglow, one could wonder if there was any light at all or just a trick of the mind.