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

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

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Volume 38, No. 1, Spring 2012

  • Arceneaux, Noah. In Search of Alien Aerials: The World War I Campaign Against Amateur Radio. 2-12.

Historians agree that World War I was a crucial period in the development of radio, though one aspect has not been examined in detail: the wartime ban on amateur radio. Drawing upon documents from the Department of Commerce in the National Archives, this article explores the methods used to enforce the ban, the techniques for punishing violators, and the internal logic that motivated such strict regulation. The evidence suggests that the government exaggerated the potential threat from German spies to justify the suppression of a new technology. This study also provides insight into post-war developments of radio, including the birth of broadcasting; illustrates the difficulties that regulators face when trying to control a new media technology; and suggests techniques that might make sense today will no doubt seem crude and misguided in years to come.

  • ^ Collins, Ross F. This Is Your Propaganda, Kids: Building a War Myth for World War I Children. 13-22.

This article examines war propaganda as reflected during World War I in three prominent United States children’s magazines: American Boy, St. Nicholas, and The Rally. War themes in these primary sources were evaluated, using a framework (the Myth of the War Experience) developed by George Mossé. For children, a militarized approach to daily life could teach them valuable skills and virtues, and propaganda presented war as not an event to fear or dread but as one to welcome and even covet. This study concluded that American children’s publication editors generally employed the myths as outlined by Mossé but with some differences. Missing from this propaganda were traits that did not help to build the Myth. These included values of independent thought and action, toleration, and pacifism.

  • ^ Wharton-Michael. Patty The Johnstown Flood of 1889: The Johnstown Tribune’s Commonsense Coverage vs. Common-Practice Sensationalism. 23-33.

The Johnstown Flood of 1889 devastated a community, tested the newly founded Red Cross, halted the operations of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and crippled one of the nation’s leading iron manufacturing companies. This article reviews the first year of the weekly Johnstown Tribune’s coverage of the flood and how that enabled a community to unite, survive, and prosper once again. The paper served as the primary medium to mobilize the community’s informational resources, focusing on meeting the local community’s informational needs rather than providing extensive sensationalized coverage. Five main themes emerged in the Tribune’s first year of coverage after the flood: accounts of the flood; identifying the bodies of the victims; requesting help from the nation; informing the local community; and identifying the cause of the flood.

  • ^ Lampkin Stephens, Donna. The Conscience of the Arkansas Gazette: J.N. Heiskell Faces the Storm of Little Rock. 34-42.

J.N. Heiskell, owner and editor of Little Rock’s Arkansas Gazette in 1957, was a firm believer in segregation, but when he realized that the practice was nearing its end in American life, his belief in law and order as a necessity for any civilized society led him to support an editorial stance that seemed to contradict him. This led the Gazette to become the first newspaper to win two Pulitzer Prizes for coverage of the same event. He believed a paper should be the conscience of its community, requiring it to do things it might not like but that it knew were right, if not popular, and while his position seemed to be contradictory for a man of his time and place, it emerged fairly naturally over a lifetime of experience. He was committed to fairness and justice, and those values culminated in the Gazette’s stand during the Central High School integration crisis.

  • ^ Hulden, Vilja. Employer Organizations’ Influence on the Progressive-Era Press. 43-54

One of the major issues of public debate in the early twentieth century was “the labor question:” what rights did workers versus employers have and what forms of production and ownership were fair? This article examines the attempts of organized employers to shape this debate by influencing press coverage in the early twentieth century. It focuses on the two main business organizations of the period, the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Civic Federation. They ostensibly advocated different approaches to industrial relations, but this study argues their public disagreements ultimately had the effect of constricting the boundaries of discussion about labor in not only small newspapers but even the sophisticated press—respected daily newspapers and prominent magazines.

Volume 38, No. 2, Summer 2012

  • Washburn, Patrick S. Goodbye. 73.

  • Canada, Mark, Stories of Today: Rebecca Harding Davis’ Investigative Fiction. 63-73.

Long before her son, Richard Harding Davis, became a star reporter, Rebecca Harding Davis worked for the Wheeling Intelligencer in her home state of Virginia. Throughout a writing career that spanned five decades and produced hundreds of stories, novels, and articles, she retained an interest in journalism. Beginning with an 1861 story, “Life in the Iron-Mills,” she used fiction to report on current events. Later works, such as Put Out of the Way, an exposé of the system for institutionalizing the supposedly insane, and John Andross, a study of the effects of the Whiskey Ring on an individual, constituted a distinctive literary form: investigative fiction. Her work in this genre anticipated the major achievements of several other American writers, including Stephen Crane, Upton Sinclair, Truman Capote, and Tom Wolfe.

  • ^ Mellen, Roger P. The Colonial Virginia Press and the Stamp Act: An Expansion of Civic Discourse. 74-85.

The Stamp Act, which was imposed on the American colonies by the British government in 1765, was an essential preface to the American Revolution. Historians have observed that it brought about an important transition for colonial printers, politicizing them and turning them into influential purveyors of propaganda. The act had a critical impact on print culture in Virginia, which was the largest of the colonies and one that was crucial to the formation of a new nation. This study helps to clarify an historical debate regarding the colonial printers’ supposed unanimous opposition to the tax. Focusing on the print-related cultural shifts of this period, it concludes that a newly critical Virginia press and an accompanying broadening civic discourse led to a new regard for freedom of the press.

  • ^ Cronin, Mary M, and William E. Huntzicker. Popular Chinese Images and “The Coming Man” of 1870: Racial Representations of Chinese. 86-99.

In 1870, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper gave its readers a tour of San Francisco’s Chinatown as it appeared to travel writer Thomas W. Knox and illustrator Joseph Becker, who spent the end of 1869 and the first few weeks of 1870 there. “The Coming Man” series appeared weekly from May 7 through July 30, 1870, with the exception of a July 9 article and illustrations that covered “a large body of Mongolians in a shoe-factory” in Massachusetts hired as contract workers to replace employees who had “quarreled” with the owner over wages. The San Francisco series was surprisingly free of the stereotypes that permeated other coverage, including articles in other issues of Leslie’s. The series appeared as Californians debated legislation to discriminate against Chinese, to restrict Chinese-owned businesses, and ultimately to exclude Chinese immigration.

  • Hutchison, Philip J. When Elm Street Became Treeless: Journalistic Coverage of Dutch Elm Disease, 1939-80. 100-9.

This study examines how newspaper and magazine journalists addressed Dutch Elm Disease from its outset in the 1930s until the blight effectively eliminated the spectacular elm tree from most Americans’ lives. This orientation illustrates how journalists addressed this major, continuing environmental issue across five decades, a period in which mainstream news organizations slowly integrated science reporting into their operations. The study finds that the press effectively tracked the spread of the disease but was less successful at synchronizing the diverse issues that the blight represented. Most notably, news coverage lacked aesthetic perspective, relied too heavily on government sources, and was slow to interpret and integrate relevant issues such as importation policies, biodiversity, and pesticide usage.

  • ^ Maurantonio, Nicole. Standing By: Police Paralysis, Race, and the 1964 Philadelphia Riot . 110-21.

Although considerable scholarship has explored the riots of the 1960s as the culmination of tensions simmering throughout the tumultuous decade, this article examines Philadelphia’s 1964 riot and the ways that local newspapers attempted to frame the violence. By urging Philadelphians to view the riot as the outcome of an ineffectual police department, which was ill-equipped to confront black “hoodlums,” journalists privileged frames of police paralysis and marginalization. The circulation of these two frames alone, however, cannot explain the eventual demise of the city’s Police Advisory Board. This study argues that the imagery of police standing idly by while the streets of Philadelphia dissolved into chaos proved invaluable ammunition for opponents of the Board, who found in the news coverage further evidence of postwar liberalism’s failure to protect the populace.

^ Volume 38, No. 3, Fall 2012

  • Hunt, Paula D. Editing Desire, Working Girl Wisdom, and Cupcakeable Goodness: Helen Gurley Brown and the Triumph of Cosmopolitan, 130-41.

In 1965, Helen Gurley Brown (1922-2012) assumed the top editing job at Cosmopolitan and transformed it from a failing title into one of magazine publishing’s greatest successes. During an era of increasing publication specialization, Cosmopolitan was one of the few magazines to target and celebrate women’s growing economic and social independence. Much of the scholarship on and critical appraisals of Brown and Cosmopolitan have focused on sexual politics and issues of taste. This paper takes an institutional approach by examining Brown’s professional practices and how they contributed to Cosmopolitan’s growth, profitability, and popularity: know your reader and always keep her in mind, prioritize good writing, and accommodate corporate and advertiser interests. In addition, it acknowledges Brown’s role as a visionary editor and businesswoman, as well as Cosmopolitan’s importance in magazine history.

  • ^ Glende, Philip M., Trouble on the Right, Trouble on the Left: The Early History of the American Newspaper Guild, 142-55.

The early years of the American Newspaper Guild were filled with intense internal conflict as well as determined resistance from publishers. Starting in 1933, Guild members engaged in a vigorous debate about whether the organization should be a professional society or a trade union wielding the threat of a strike. Faced with publisher opposition and frustrated by government labor-management mechanisms, the Guild affiliated with the American Federation of Labor in 1936 and a year later joined the more militant Congress of Industrial Organizations, launching a campaign to organize commercial employees. Many journalists who opposed the Guild were alienated by leftist leadership in national offices during the late 1930s and in prominent local offices until the late 1940s. This article uses archival records and contemporary accounts to examine the growth of the Guild, a pioneering white-collar union that faced numerous obstacles.

  • ^ Furrow, Ashley D. A Struggle for Identity: The Rise and Fall of Sports Illustrated Women, 156-65.

The success of the United States’ female athletes in the 1996 Olympics spawned immense public enthusiasm for women’s sports in America. Along with nearly two decades of surging female athletic participation due to the effects of Title IX, a generation of young women had grown up as athletes — and a new magazine, Sports Illustrated Women (SIW), formed to compete in and capitalize on that new market. Although not the first women’s sports magazine, SIW was the first women’s sports title to be published by a major publishing company, Time Inc. By conducting interviews with some of the magazine’s prominent editors, writers, and business managers and by analyzing the magazine’s content, this study details the rise and fall of SIW and highlights reasons it and similar women’s sports magazines have failed in recent years.

  • Pribanic-Smith, Erika. Rhetoric of Fear: South Carolina Newspapers and the State and National Politics of 1830. 166-77.

South Carolinians declared protective tariffs Congress passed in 1824 and 1828 unconstitutional and unfair for placing undue burden on the South while benefiting the North. A political faction formed that saw the rights of the state as paramount and sought to protect them, to the point of rebelling against the federal government through nullification of its laws. In response, two additional groups arose: one that aimed to preserve the Union above all and one that upheld the state’s rights and Union equally, urging a moderate course. Each of these three groups had newspapers to advance its views. This article studies those newspapers during the seminal year of 1830, which encompassed four key events in state and national politics that heightened the nullification debate and realigned the state’s political parties. It concludes that rhetoric from all sides preyed on readers’ fear.

  • ^ Roessner, Amber. “The Great Wrong”: “Jennie June’s” Stance on Women’s Rights. 178-88.

Throughout her career, Jane Cunningham Croly (1829-1901), better known as “Jennie June,” wrote extensively about women’s rights in mainstream newspapers and magazines. This article revalues her work, considering the complexity of her journalistic stances on women’s rights. Avoiding modern value statements that place cultural texts in hierarchal binaries of “liberal” or “conservative,” it considers the motivation behind Croly’s deployment of essentialist sex/gender logics. This study involved the historical analysis of more than sixty articles written by Croly about women’s rights from 1855 until 1898, as well as additional primary sources that provided insight into her personal and professional lives.

^ Volume 38, No. 4, Winter 2013

  • Lamme, Margot Opdycke, and Lisa Mullikin Parcell. Promoting Hershey: The Chocolate Bar, The Chocolate Town, The Chocolate King. 198-208.

Before the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar debuted in 1900 at five cents, chocolate bars had been a luxury known only to those Americans who could afford imported “eating chocolate” from Europe. By 1906 Hershey’s chocolate bars were so popular, Milton Hershey proclaimed that Hershey dominated the market and redirected his promotional efforts away from consumer advertising. Raised in the Mennonite faith, Hershey identified with Mennonite principles that, in part, taught their followers to help others and to abhor self-promotion and obvious signs of commercial wealth. Thus, he focused on promotional strategies that conveyed deeper and more complex ideas to employees, consumers, and visitors about the value of quality, community, harmony, purity, and social compassion, which, in turn, reflected back upon the company, the brand, the town, and the man.

  • Gerl, Ellen J., and Craig L. Davis. Selling Detroit on Women: Woman’s Day and Auto Advertising, 1964-82. 209-220.

From 1964 to 1982, automotive journalist Julie Candler’s monthly column in Woman’s Day helped readers navigate the male sphere of driving with useful tips from purchasing to maintaining a car. The popular women’s magazine published the “Woman at the Wheel” column to attract auto advertising, but it never did. This paper examines the representation of the woman car driver and themes present in the “Woman at the Wheel” column and reasons for its failure to attract auto ads. Textual analysis, interviews, and archival research show that Detroit automakers’ gendered bias of the female car buyer kept them from advertising in women’s periodicals such as Woman’s Day.

  • Landers, James. Hearst’s Magazine, 1912-1914: Muckraking Sensationalist. 221-232.

Journalism historians specify 1903 to 1912 as an era of muckraking when national magazines crusaded for economic, political, and social reforms. The era began when McClure’s devoted its entire January 1903 issue to exposé articles. Soon, several other monthly periodicals informed readers about numerous examples of bribery, price fixing of consumer products by corporations, and other corrupt practices. For a variety of reasons, magazines had ended their muckraking efforts by the time Hearst’s Magazine began its exposé serials during 1912. Hearst’s standards of muckraking differed considerably from those of other magazines, however, featuring a lack of documentary evidence, melodramatic storytelling, and outright fabrication of information. Also, publisher William Randolph Hearst used some exposé articles to attack his political enemies. Hearst’s continued these serials until 1914.

  • Melillo, Wendy. “A Keg of Dynamite and You’re Sitting On It”: An Analysis of the Ad Council’s Atomic Energy Campaign. 233-242.

In 1946, the scientists who worked on the federal government’s Manhattan Project requested that the organization then known as the War Advertising Council prepare a public service advertising campaign to educate Americans about the need to establish an international authority to control atomic energy. An analysis of this campaign, which failed because the fractious scientists couldn’t agree on the best way to achieve the campaign’s aim, has implications for current concerns. Like the atomic physicists who could not agree on the best approach to achieving international control of atomic energy, today’s scientists lack a cohesive voice in the debates about climate change and intelligent design. It is not enough to assume, as the scientists do, that all people will act rationally if given enough information.

  • Babington, Stuart. “I’m Going to Introduce Them Again and Again”: Morris Udall’s Attempts to Protect Independent Newspapers, 1975-1982. 243-252.

From 1975 to 1981, Congressman Morris K. Udall of Arizona led a legislative fight to save the independent, family-owned newspaper at a time when there was still an opportunity, however small, to confront the industry trend of group ownership. Though initially unsuccessful in his attempts to garner support, Udall finally drew an attentive audience when he focused his efforts on a tax structure that he believed was responsible for an all-too-common scenario: Newspaper groups’ demand for additional properties was driving up the real market value of newspapers, therefore increasing the state and federal estate tax burden for owners wishing to leave their properties to their heirs. This research explores the debate that accompanied the nation’s strongest attempt to preserve the independent, family-owned newspaper.

Volume 39, No. 1 Spring 2013

  • Carey, Michael Clay. Community Journalism in a Secret City: The Oak Ridge Journal, 1943-48. 2-14.

In 1943 the federal government approved publication of the Oak Ridge Journal, a weekly sent to residents at one of three secret towns created to develop the Manhattan Project. This in-depth review of the Journal’s content reveals that early issues focused mainly on government propaganda aimed at workers, but over time the publication grew to look and read more like a traditional community newspaper. Even as it evolved, government censorship was still evident. This study suggests that, despite propaganda and censorship, the Oak Ridge Journal helped develop a sense of community among the residents of Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

  • Watts, Liz. AP’s First Female Reporters. 15-28.

As of 1926, the Associated Press had not hired women to work as reporters. With the appointment of Kent Cooper as general manager, the first woman reporter was hired in that year, followed by the hiring of seven more women who worked at either the AP’s New York or Washington, D.C., bureaus between 1928 and 1931. These women reporters provided American readers with numerous stories of women’s activities, their style of dress, and other social news. They covered women athletes, women active in politics, and wives of officials, but they did not cover the most important assignments because that territory was claimed by their male counterparts. For the first time, AP assigned women to cover the wives of the presidential candidates, women at the political conventions, and women in the presidential inaugurations.

  • Pressman, Matthew. Black and White and Red All Over?: Reassessing Newspapers’ Role in the Red Scare of 1919. 29-39.

Most historians writing about America’s 1919 Red Scare have claimed that the press, by exaggerating and sensationalizing the threat from radical leftists, helped foment a national hysteria. This article, focusing primarily on New York City’s top three morning newspapers, argues that the press in 1919 did not irresponsibly stoke public fear. While most papers supported the government’s crackdown on suspected radicals and took management’s side in labor disputes, the overall sense they conveyed was that the radicals were ineffectual and the authorities firmly in control. Some newspapers, moreover, such as the New York American (the flagship of William Randolph Hearst’s powerful chain), covered strikes fairly and downplayed the unrest roiling the country. Examining the circumstances and pressures under which each newspaper operated, this article explores what shaped their coverage and argues that their greatest impact was not on the public, but on politicians.

  • DeBrosse, Jim. “Four Dead in Ohio”: How the Media Ignored the Threat of Deadly Force at Kent State University May 4, 1970. 40-49.

When Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire on protestors at Kent State University on May 4, 1970, killing four students and injuring nine others, many students, if not most, thought the shots were blanks until the wounded and dying began to fall around them. Why the use of live ammunition surprised both students and faculty members has been largely unexplored in media history research, even though state officials warned repeatedly in a press conference the day before the shootings that they would use “any means necessary” to maintain order on campus. Based on oral histories, archived audio files, extensive interviews with eyewitnesses and assigned reporters, and an examination of the news media available to the Kent State community at the time, this paper argues that the guard-dog theory of the press and Chomsky’s propaganda model help explain the failure by the local media to warn victims of the imminent threat of deadly force.

  • Murray, Michael D. In the Storm of the Eye: A Conversation with Dan Rather. 58-57.

Volume 39, No. 2 Summer 2013

  • Cronin, Mary. “The North Is to Us Like the Grave”: Albert D. Richardson’s and Junius Browne’s Confederate Prison Letters. 66-81.

In May 1863, New York Tribune correspondents Albert D. Richardson and Junius Browne, along with Richard Colburn of the New York World, were captured as they attempted to run the Confederate batteries near Vicksburg, Mississippi, on a Union military flotilla. While Colburn was paroled almost immediately, Richardson and Browne were not. The two Tribune correspondents were held for almost twenty months in a series of seven Confederate prisons. The men’s letters to family members and colleagues illustrate and illuminate the human toll that resulted from the imprisonment of civilian non-combatants as authorities on both sides of the conflict regularly suspended prisoner exchanges. The letters also demonstrate that the social construction of the reporter began in earnest during the U.S. Civil War years.

  • Fuhlhage, Michael. “The Most Solemn and Impressive Duty”: ^ New York Tribune ReporterAlbert Deane Richardson’s Post-Captivity Campaign to Relieve Suffering Prisoners during the Civil War. 82-93.

New York Tribune correspondent Albert Deane Richardson followed his December 1864 escape from a Confederate prison in Salisbury, North Carolina, with a campaign to relieve the suffering Civil War POWs he left behind. Through testimony to Congress, articles in newspapers and magazines, and lectures on the lyceum circuit, Richardson marshaled public outrage to pressure the U.S. government to resume prisoner exchanges or use the threat of retaliation to force the Confederates to treat their prisoners humanely. Richardson’s letters reveal he carefully coordinated his testimony and publication of evidence about abuses at Salisbury. Analysis of his public communication reveals he tapped the power of a storytelling genre whose history stretched from the Civil War back to the nation’s origins: the captivity narrative.

  • ^ Mizuno, Takeya. An Enemy’s Talk of “Justice”: Japanese Radio Propaganda against Japanese American Mass Incarceration during World War II. 94-103.

This article examines how a Japanese short-wave radio propaganda network, as known as “Radio Tokyo,” commented on mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during the first year after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. As the Army began to execute mass incarceration, so did Radio Tokyo begin its serial propaganda attacks. Japanese propagandists branded the policy as evidence of American hypocrisy revealing the actual hollow nature of the nation’s “democratic” ideals. They used a variety of methods such as referring to famed political figures and issues in American history, citing neutral sources, and borrowing dissenting opinions from major American mass media. Radio Tokyo utilized fictitious programs, too. Japanese broadcasters proclaimed the moral superiority of Japan and even threatened to mistreat American captives, which certainly affected the minds and deeds of government officials in charge of mass incarceration. These findings demonstrate that mass incarceration was not only a serious violation of basic human rights, but also a problematic measure in terms of international propaganda warfare.

  • Gallon, Kim, “How Much Can You Read about Interracial Love and Sex without Getting Sore?”: Readers’ Debate over Interracial Relationships in the ^ Baltimore Afro-American. 104-114.

Interracial marriage and relationships were illegal in much of the United States in the early twentieth century. The black press devoted a great deal of attention to this topic, often connecting it to African Americans’ encounters with racism and their struggle for civil rights. Part of this coverage in the national black weekly newspaper the Baltimore Afro-American included short and serial fictional stories on interracial romance. These stories, however, were often a contested medium among readers. Thus, a public debate occurred over the question of interracial romance stories and their place in the Baltimore Afro-American over the course of four months in 1934. This article examines this debate. Ultimately, interracial romance stories brought readers into conversation with each other and the Baltimore Afro-American to create a discourse that tied interracial romance to the African American battle for equality in the early twentieth century.

  • Mislan, Cristina. An “Obedient Servant”: Internationalizing and Capitalizing on Blackness in Marcus Garvey’s ^ Negro World. 115-125.

Throughout its history, the black press called for the liberation of communities of color worldwide and strived to establish an image of blackness that was counter to notions perpetuated in the mainstream media and society. In the early twentieth century, the Negro World, the official organ of Marcus Garvey’s United Negro Improvement Association, played a crucial role in fostering black internationalism as a movement that had political, economic, and social implications for black communities worldwide. This article examines editorials published in Garvey’s Negro World from 1924 through 1926 and argues that the newspaper called for the destruction of white capitalism and Western colonialism while simultaneously embracing Western ideals of advancement and applying those to communities of color around the world. Such messages provide insight into how a black newspaper embraced both a radical and pro-Western ideology (even while the newspaper’s editorials condemned Western colonialism) in relation to the development of an early twentieth-century black internationalist movement. This study, therefore, contrasts with previous literature on the Negro World that positions Garvey’s newspaper as an anticolonial media tool. Furthermore, it illustrates how black journalism in the early twentieth century promoted global solidarity among black people throughout the black Atlantic world.

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