Abstracts available only since vol. 27: 1 (Spring 2001) icon

Abstracts available only since vol. 27: 1 (Spring 2001)

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^ Chakars, Janis. “Work Life in the ‘Singing Revolution’: The Experience of Journalism in Latvia during the Struggle for Independence from the Soviet Union.” 105-115.

While journalists were significant players in Mikhail Gorbachev’s policy of glasnost (openness), their experience has been underexplored, particularly in non-Russian regions. This study explores Latvia in 1988-91, when a mass movement pushed for independence, and examines the revolutionary nature of the movement and the nationalistic and democratic characteristics of journalism. Thus, it offers a new approach to the study of media and the demise of the Soviet Union beyond the “transition studies” paradigm that has guided most research. It also moves the focus of inquiry away from Moscow and examines key marchers in what Gorbachev called the “parade of sovereignties” that contributed to the Soviet collapse. Most studies have focused on Russian-language, Moscow-based media, despite the significance of others in this period.

^ Volume 36, No. 3, Fall 2010

  • Popp, Richard K. “Domesticating Vacations: Gender, Travel, and Consumption in Post-War Magazines.” 126-137.

This article examines how post-World War II magazine narratives made tourist travel part of a larger discourse about gender, sex, and consumerism in American society. The study finds that while magazines often depicted travel as a carnivalesque activity disruptive of everyday domestic norms, they also circulated narratives that reconciled those fantasies with dominant conventions of femininity and masculinity. By exploring the meanings attached to vacation travel during this period, scholars can better understand how magazines, as engines of consumer desire, mediated between transgressive and structured aspects of American culture. And one can see how popular journalism depicted the consumerism and leisure that characterized a unique, American standard of living in ways that affirmed gendered structures of inequality.

  • Cronin, Mary M. “Patriotic Ladies and Gallant Heroines: Images of Confederate Women in Southern Newspapers, 1861-65. 138-149.

The Civil War forced many southern women into the public sphere of war materiel production, factory labor, and hospital work, jobs that previously had been part of the male sphere. This article examines how Confederate newspaper editors framed such work for women and argues that the majority of southern editors not only recognized the necessity of women’s moral, patriotic, and physical contributions to the war but frequently encouraged and applauded such actions. In an era of separate gender spheres, southern editors promoted women’s war work as part of the existing southern and Confederate values of self-sufficiency, hard work, paternal devotion, and sacrifice for the new nation. Examining such press representations is important because Confederate editors played crucial roles in shaping public opinion during the war and in temporarily reconstructing gender roles during wartime.

  • Coward, John M. “Making Images on the Indian Frontier: The Adventures of Special Artist Theodore Davis.” 150-159.

This study examines the pictorial journalism of Theodore Davis, a Harper’s Weekly illustrator who traveled west in late 1865. After becoming prominent as a battlefield artist during the Civil War, he provided first-hand reports and illustrations of Indian-white violence in the West. The article argues that his images of a stagecoach attack in western Kansas, his vivid depiction of soldiers’ arrow-pierced bodies on the plains, and his fictional renderings of George Custer’s infamous attack on Black Kettle’s winter camp on the Washita River in 1868 were significant sources of Indian imagery in the post-bellum period. His pictorial journalism in Harper’s Weekly and Harper’s New Monthly Magazine influenced popular ideas about Indians and Indian warfare for the remainder of the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth century.

  • Koerber, Duncan. “Political Operatives and Administrative Workers: The Newspaper Agents of Mackenzie’s Gazette, 1838-40.” 160-168.

This article sheds light on the agent, an overlooked participant in newspaper circulation networks in the early 1800s. Based on archival letters from the newspaper agents of Mackenzie’s Gazette, which was published in New York state by Upper Canadian rebel leader William Lyon Mackenzie, this study shows that agents played key roles in circulation, collection, and feedback. The relationship between editor and agent also was highly political. The Gazette began as a platform to educate Americans about the rebel cause in Upper Canada, attracting agents from both the Whig and Democratic parties, but Mackenzie lost the support of agents as he attacked their parties. This study shows how the agent-editor relationship worked and characterizes the agents’ role as administrative, sparked by personal initiative, interactive, and allegiance to a cause.

  • ^ Baker, Matthew. “Selling a State to the Nation: Boosterism and Utah’s First National Park.” 169-177.

After gaining statehood in 1896, Utah struggled to overcome perceptions of its un-Americanness. Mormons (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) made up the majority of the population and held most political offices, and the practice of polygamy and the threat of theocracy from the dominant religion fueled perceptions that Utah was an outsider in the Union. The national park movement provided a means for the state to promote its landscape as a contribution to the country and to prove its worth to America. Journalism associated with the designation of Zion National Park (1919) shows how Utah’s reporters used landscape to fuel a booster press in a struggle to bridge the chasm that separated the state from the rest of the country. Much like the nation used the early national parks as a means of establishing national identity, Utah’s press used the parks to establish the state’s Americanness.

Volume 36, No. 4, Winter 2011

  • Porwancher, Andrew. “Objectivity’s Prophet: Adolph S. Ochs and the New York Times, 1896-1935.” 186-195.

Historians of American journalism have shown considerable interest in the ideal of objectivity. Although scholars disagree on the precise meaning of it and the timing of its rise, the standard historiographical assumption is that objectivity emerged as a dominant professional ethic at some point between the 1890s and the 1920s. This article argues against the notion of objectivity as a guiding ideal that dictated institutional norms in this era. Instead, this study contends that objectivity was a contemporaneous legitimation of journalistic practices, a set of ideal interests used to camouflage or even further the press’ material interests: increased revenue, advertising, and circulation as well as protection from legal sanctions. Such practice did not inhere tacitly within the machinery of journalism—it was conscious, deliberate, and explicit.

  • ^ Simpson, Edgar. “Pressing the Press: W.E. Chilton III’s Investigation of Newspaper Owners.” 196-206.

During twenty-five years as owner/publisher of West Virginia’s largest newspaper, the Charleston Gazette, W.E. Chilton III developed a journalism philosophy that he called “sustained outrage.” Newspapers too often failed, he argued to the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association in 1983, to examine “basic injustices and fundamental idiocies.” This philosophy was underscored by a deep belief that newspapers were dying at their own hands by pursuing profit rather than robust democratic debate. Thus, in 1980 and 1986, he ordered his reporters to launch two in-depth investigations into his fellow West Virginia newspaper owners and publishers. This study explores these unusual investigations within the context of historical industry criticism and ongoing concerns over the fate of First Amendment values without a vigorous press.

  • ^ Kates, James. “Liberty Hyde Bailey, Agricultural Journalism, and the Making of the Moral Landscape.” 207-217.

Liberty Hyde Bailey (1858-1954) was a prominent horticulturist, professor, rural reformer, and author. As an agricultural writer, who poured out his sentiments and his science in more than seventy books and countless articles for professional journals and consumer magazines, he championed the American farmer in the early twentieth century while many publications shifted their focus to suburban living and rural vacation homes for city dwellers. His hopes of fostering an autonomous, prosperous rural society would be frustrated by economic upheaval in the farm sector after 1920. But his writings, particularly about nature appreciation and amateur gardening, helped set the stage for the emergence of the U.S. environmental movement after World War II. Thus, as an editor of magazines and books—his relationship with the Macmillan Company alone spanned half a century—he was a major force in agricultural publishing and in the emergence of popular titles celebrating the allure of nature.

  • ^ Sheehy, Michael. “Reporting on Party Spirit: The Western Spy’s Coverage of the March to Ohio Statehood.” 218-227.

The Western Spy, a weekly newspaper published by Joseph Carpenter, first appeared in Cincinnati in 1799, four years before Ohio became a state. This article examines the Spy’s coverage of Northwest Territory politics and the statehood movement from May 1799 through the Ohio General Assembly’s first meeting in March 1803. The study found: the paper’s political coverage largely consisted of the publication of raw data without an editorial narrative; the isolation of the Northwest Territory caused delays in the reporting of news, which influenced the Spy’s news-gathering, sourcing, and publication schedule; and the paper’s reliance on official documents for news often caused it to overlook underlying stories. But most importantly, the Spy exercised the power of the press in an impartial manner, making Carpenter a journalistic pioneer.

  • Darling, Juanita. “The Eagle and the Sun: Shaping Press Philosophy in Early Mexico, 1823-27.” 228-237.

Two newspapers, El Sol and the Águila Mejicana, became the dominant media forces in Mexico in the years immediately following independence from Spain. Although they were notorious rivals, their discourse and their practices showed similar attitudes about the role of the press. Both were forums for public expression, watchdogs over government, commentators on political developments, and correctors of misinformation. They also demonstrated a commitment to building a new nation. Published by competing factions of the Free Masons, neither valued independence from political factions, and they showed varying levels of support for laws regulating press freedom and punishing so-called abuses of press freedom. The standards that they set for the role of the press may provide insight into modern Mexican media and the Spanish-language media in the U.S.

  • ^ Sullivan, Christopher C. “‘Always Plenty’: Editor-Writer Bill Emerson’s Speeches as a Memoir of a Rare Life and Times.” 238-244.

This is the eleventh 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 37, No. 1, Spring 2011

  • ^ Parcell, Lisa M. “Early American Newswriting Style: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.” 2-11.

Between 1690 and the end of the American Revolution, colonial newspaper printers developed a fairly standardized writing style in trying to provide readers useful, informative, and entertaining news in as little space as possible. A long history of newsletters, government publications, English newspapers, apprenticeships, and news clipping, as well as shortages of supplies and a fear of censorship, helped shape this style. Printers recognized that readers wanted to know at minimum the basic information—who, what, when, where, why, and how—of a news story, and when space permitted, a few longer pieces, usually written in chronological order, included more details, background information, and dramatic introductory sentences. Overall, however, writers based their newswriting on fundamental storytelling.

  • Fee, Jr., Frank E. “To No One More Indebted: Frederick Douglass and Julia Griffiths, 1849-63.” 12-26.

This research examines the role of Julia Griffiths, a white Englishwoman who worked closely with former slave-turned-newspaper-editor Frederick Douglass in the 1840s and the 1850s. Although historians have generally identified her as a secondary figure in the abolitionist movement, closer examination, particularly by media historians, is justified by the complexity of the relationship between the two of them and the nature of her influence on both the American and the British abolition movements. In 1849-50, Griffiths rescued Douglass’ faltering North Star, and her fund-raising for him and his paper throughout the decade before the Civil War energized and empowered antislavery women on both sides of the Atlantic. Overall, she made significant contributions to the thought and actions of women envisioning a new place for themselves on two continents.

  • Edmondson, Aimee. “In Sullivan’s Shadows: The Use and Abuse of Libel Law Arising from the Civil Rights Movement, 1960-89.” 27-38.

This article examines the use of libel in the shadow of the landmark New York Times v. Sullivan case in 1964. By exploring lesser-known cases, scholars can better understand the impact that libel had on the fight for civil rights in the South. Legal historians agree Sullivan stopped what would have been an onslaught of libel suits for civil rights coverage, but research has been scarce on similar, lesser-known suits and their impact on delaying coverage of the movement. The Supreme Court’s decision opened the doors for the press to cover demonstrations and activities in the South, but this study shows that Sullivan was only one such libel case that offered consequences for coverage of the movement. Sullivan-like cases took much longer to move through the courts than scholars have realized and played an integral role in shaping coverage of the issue.

  • ^ Bates, Stephen. “Public Intellectuals on Time’s Covers.” 39-50.

Richard A. Posner, Russell Jacoby, and many other authors have charted what they view as the decline of the public intellectual, and this article assesses whether such a decline is reflected on the cover of Time magazine. Examining the covers between the magazine’s launch in 1923 and 2010, this study finds that public intellectuals have indeed appeared with less frequency, especially since the 1960s, and as of the end of 2010, no living public intellectual had appeared on the cover for more than a decade. The paucity of public intellectuals in recent years may reflect their loss of prominence and influence in American society, as Posner and others have posited. But alternative explanations also are plausible, including changes in the magazine’s editorial leadership, the rise of covers featuring celebrities and other soft news, and the increase in covers that focus on an issue or topic rather than an individual.

  • ^ Maio, Andrew R. “A Step Past Revisionism: The Evolution of Quebec’s Print Media and Post Revisionism.” 51-59.

Since the 1970s, Quebec historians have taken a revisionist approach to the province’s historical writing, but a transition occurred in the 1990s and post-revisionism became the vanguard. Quebec’s print media industry had been ignored by revisionists because it did not support their thesis. This study uses post-revisionism to demonstrate the limits of the revisionist approach by analyzing how the print media were modernized in Quebec. It begins by chronicling Quebec’s and Canada’s media historiography, and then the Canadian media industry and early twentieth-century Quebec history is addressed. Finally, reformers and publications that laid the foundation for the modern print media industry in Quebec are examined. As it shows, post-revisionism gave a chance for a less restrictive history of the print media industry to emerge.

Volume 37, No. 2, Summer 2011

  • Mangun, Kimberley. “Should She, or Shouldn’t She, Pursue a Career in Journalism?: True Womanhood and the Debate About Women in the Newsroom, 1887-1930. 66-79.

This qualitative study uses textual analysis and the lens of true womanhood to analyze twenty-eight articles by or about female journalists that appeared in U.S. magazines from 1887 to 1930. The research argues that the nineteenth-century characteristics that defined true womanhood—purity, piety, domesticity, and submissiveness—were reimagined in order to encourage—or discourage—white women from pursuing a career in journalism. Discussions were framed in terms of three narratives—didactic, cautionary, and celebratory—and this may have affected the way that women viewed their career and relationships with male and female colleagues The ensuing discourse worked to protect the male-dominated newsroom and contain aspiring female journalists by preventing their advancement beyond society reporting and the women’s pages.

  • ^ Nord, David Paul. “Plain and Certain Facts”: Four Episodes of Public Affairs Reporting in Eighteenth-Century Boston. 80-90.

Was there serious, systematic news reporting in eighteenth-century America? Not in newspapers. Journalism historians have often noted that colonial papers carried a lot of local news, but reporting was haphazard. News found its own way into the print shop and into the paper; even the best newspapermen rarely reached out to gather it. But some writers did. This article is about four episodes of public affairs reporting in Boston in the 1730s and the 1740s that involved painstaking efforts to collect, verify, and publish up-to-date, factual information about occurrences of public importance. While the writers were from different professions, they were all print entrepreneurs and major players in the city’s public life. They understood their civic duty to include reporting and publishing information on current public affairs, and they pioneered methods for doing that.

  • Bedingfield, Sid John H. McCray. Accommodationism, and the Framing of the Civil Rights Struggle in South Carolina, 1940-48. 91-101.

John H. McCray was a political activist who served as editor of South Carolina’s leading black newspaper in 1940-54. After years of dormancy, the civil rights movement sprang to life in the state in the 1940s. This study analyzed the available editions of the newspaper from 1940 to 1948 as well as the personal papers of McCray and his chief colleagues. The findings suggest the newspaper employed what William Gamson has identified as a “collective action frame” to spur black political engagement by framing the civil rights struggle to emphasize African-American agency and self-assertion during a time when strategies of accommodation and negotiation remained dominant in the deep South. Thus, McCray and his colleagues redefined the meaning of full citizenship for black Carolinians and linked it directly to political confrontation.

  • ^ Wickham, Kathleen Woodruff. Murder in Mississippi: The Unresolved Case of Agence French-Presse’s Paul Guihard. 102-112.

Agence French-Presse reporter Paul Guihard is the only journalist known to have been killed during the civil rights era. He was shot in the back from about one foot away on September 30, 1962, on the campus of the University of Mississippi while covering the integration of the university, which resulted in riots. His assailant was never identified, and his story was lost in the greater development of the day, the enrollment of James Meredith as the first black student at the university. This article tells his story from his early childhood in France and England through his death. It is based on primary research material, including newly released FBI and U.S. Marshals Service documents at the National Archives, archival material at the University of Mississippi, and interviews with Guihard’s brother, Alain.

  • ^ Beard, Fred, and Nye, Chad. “A History of the Media Industry’s Self-Regulation of Comparative Advertising. 113-121.

The unique problems for the media industry posed by the increasingly widespread use of comparative advertising throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first have not been examined prior to the research in this article. Sources consisted of articles published in the advertising trade literature, including, for the early twentieth century, the industry’s foremost journal, Printers’ Ink. Findings reveal comparative advertising was rarely viewed as anything other than a serious problem for publishers and broadcasters and also show that disparagement and the validity of comparative claims have been the principal problems driving media advertising self-regulation policies. The article concludes with recommendations for future historical research on the challenges that comparative advertising has created for other entities and institutions involved in the regulation of advertising.

^ Volume 37, No. 3, Fall 2011

  • Burrowes, Carl Patrick. Caught in the Crosswinds of the Atlantic: John Brown Russwurm (1799-1851) Freedom’s Journal, and African Colonization. 130-141.

This article reassesses the career at Freedom’s Journal of John B. Russwurm, co-founder of America’s first black newspaper in New York City. Rather than being a convert to emigrationism, he counted among his long-term associates several who were actively engaged in promoting the colonization of blacks outside the United States, mainly in Freetown (West Africa) and Haiti. In contrast to the established literature, in which colonizationism is presented as antithetical to a civil rights commitment, he justified his decision to emigrate to Liberia precisely on the basis of a desire for civil liberties and citizenship. Perhaps his most original and lasting contribution was facilitating the emergence of a sense among African-Americans of a historical and spiritual connection to ancient Egypt.

  • ^ Mendelson, Andrew L. and Kitch, Carolyn. “Creating a Photographic Record of World War I: “Real History”and Recuperative Memory in Stereography. 142-150.

This article considers how World War I was explained and memorialized in American stereography after its conclusion. Stereographs were side-by-side photographs of the same scene, which when seen through a set of lenses called a stereoscope, created a three-dimension viewing effect. The Keystone stereograph set of 300 cards, which was used in this study and was issued in 1923, provided reassuring memory in keepsake form. This study helps elucidate the role of the media in the construction of collective memory and national identity during a pivotal time in both the rise of the mass media and America’s sense of its moral and political place in the world. The stereographs also show how images and text could be packaged together as “history” to tell a positive and recuperative story about what many saw as an inexplicable series of events.

  • Carroll, Brian. “This is IT!”: The PR Campaign by Wendell Smith and Jackie Robinson. 151-162.

This article reveals and examines Jackie Robinson’s little-known role as a columnist for the Pittsburgh Courier during his groundbreaking first season with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. The twenty-five weekly columns are placed into historical context by comparing their characterizations of the events of that season against later, fuller, and in some ways more accurate accounts from Robinson and others. This study seeks to hold up the picture or gallery of pictures that he wanted his readers to see, pictures that framed the events of that season. Identifying what Robinson and Smith selected and emphasized, and what they left out, points to alternate texts and alternate meanings. Importantly, the absences and omissions could say much about what Robinson signified in presenting that first season in an unrelentingly positive light.

  • Hrach, Thomas J. “An Incitement to Riot: Television’s Role in the Civil Disorders in the Summer of 1967. 163-171.

In the summer of 1967, America’s cities exploded with riots in black neighborhoods, and many blamed televised news coverage for spreading the violence. The Kerner Commission investigated that issue and determined there was no direct connection between television and rioting. Yet there was data that was never revealed as part of the report that could have been used to come to a different conclusion. The commission hired a research firm, Simulmatics Inc., to do a content analysis of news media coverage of the riots, but data from the analysis was mentioned only briefly in the report. The data lends credence to the criticism that there was a connection between television and the riots. This article examines how the data fits into criticism of television violence in the 1960s and concludes there was a more direct connection than the commission reported.

  • ^ Hume, Janice. “Building an American Story: How Early American Historians Used Press Sources to Remember the Revolution. 172-179.

This study examined histories of the American Revolution published through 1899 to see how they used newspapers and magazines as sources. The purpose was to determine how the press helped build America’s first real “story” as an independent nation, distinct from native and colonial origins. These histories used press sources in myriad ways. Some included snippets of Revolution-era newspaper content, and others reprinted reminiscences, coverage of anniversaries and monument dedications, and obituaries. And some of the longer and more colorful accounts came verbatim from newspaper articles published decades after the war. Press stories, included in these more permanent histories, helped ensure that the iconic narratives endured in American collective memory.

^ Volume 37, No. 4, Winter 2012

  • Smith Jr., Glenn D. “You Can Do Anything” The Agendas of Carolyn Bennett Patterson, National Geographic’s First Woman Senior Editor.” 190-206.

This article examines the career of Carolyn Bennett Patterson (1921-2003), National Geographic’s first woman senior editor. Motivated by her “You Can Do Anything” ideology, she set out to accomplish intersecting personal and professional agendas during her tenure at the magazine, which lasted almost four decades. Her personal agenda involved her goal of becoming a travel journalist for the magazine, while her professional agenda included her groundbreaking work as editor of the Geographic legends, the captions that accompany the magazine’s illustrations. In documenting her efforts in fulfilling her personal and professional goals, this research reveals that her experiences were indicative of the successes and struggles of other women journalists and editors in the second half of the twentieth century.

  • Burt, Elizabeth V. “From ‘True Woman’ to ‘New Woman’: An Analysis of the Lydia Pinkham “Animated Ads” of 1890.” 207-217.

This article analyzes five illustrated advertisements designed by the Lydia E. Pinkham Medicine Company in 1890. Dubbed “animated ads” by the company’s director, they were an innovation among newspapers advertisements of the period in both design and execution. Each depicts a social tableaux in which women play a role in a specific social setting. A close reading of them reveals that they all made statements about woman’s place in late Victorian society, which was a time when the traditional “True Woman” was being challenged by the emerging paradigm of the “New Woman.” These advertisements reveal aspects of both models and suggest to modern readers how women in 1890 reading these advertisements could negotiate the transition between the two alternative views.

  • Benbow, Mark. Wilson’s Cartoonist Charles R. Macauley and the 1912 Election. 218-227.

Charles R. Macauley was the New York World’s main editorial cartoonist from 1904 to 1914. This article examines his role in Woodrow Wilson’s 1912 presidential campaign, including not only drawing laudatory editorial cartoons of him for the newspaper but openly providing cartoons for the campaign and writing a campaign film, The Old Way and the New, that was designed to appeal to working and middle-class voters and encourage them to give money. This was well before the American Society of Newspaper Editors adopted the first national code of ethics for papers in 1923, and the World had no problem with what he was doing. Yet Macauley was fired in early 1914 for collecting campaign funds for a mayoral candidate in New York City because the publisher claimed he was helping to run a “secret campaign fund,” which the paper opposed.

  • ^ Sowell, Mike. Is She or Isn’t He? Exploring the Gender Identity Controversy Over the First Female Byline in a National Sports Publication. 228-237.

This article focuses on a byline. In 1890, “Ella Black” appeared as a regular baseball writer, covering the Pittsburgh club in the Players’ League for the national sports publication Sporting Life. The magazine billed her as a “novelty:” a woman covering baseball with a feminine touch. The authenticity of her identity became a source of debate by Sporting Life writers with some claiming her articles were penned by a man writing under a pseudonym. More than 120 years later, nothing more is known about Black than what appeared in Sporting Life that season, leaving in doubt who was behind the byline. This article is an attempt to settle that question and determine whether she was indeed a pioneer for women in sports journalism or just a cheap publicity stunt by Sporting Life.

  • ^ Sheehey, Michael. Woodstock: How the Media Missed the Historic Angle of the Breaking Story, 238-246.

The Woodstock Music and Art Fair in August 1969 was an iconic moment of the 1960s for a generation of young people. However, coverage of the breaking story by major newspapers and magazines did not emphasize the event’s cultural significance, focusing instead on crowd size and related logistical problems and public safety issues. This study of breaking coverage by six daily newspapers and three magazines examines how prominently the story was displayed, the sources who were quoted, and to what extent the cultural angle was reported. A key finding was that each publication relied mostly on official sources and consulted few young festival attendees for their perspective. The breaking coverage thus focused on the negative aspects of the massive assembly, overlooking the cultural perspective that has come to characterize the event in history.

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