A history of objectivity in journalism in the United States from 1650 to the present.
Objectivity in journalism is a key topic for debate in media, communication and journalism studies, and has been the subject of intensive historical and sociological research. In the first study of its kind, Steven Maras surveys the different viewpoints and perspectives on objectivity. Going beyond a denunciation or defence of journalistic objectivity, Maras critically examines the different scholarly and professional arguments made in the area. Structured around key questions, the book considers the origins and history of objectivity, its philosophical influences, the main objections and defences, and questions of values, politics and ethics. This book examines debates around objectivity as a transnational norm, focusing on the emergence of objectivity in the US, while broadening out discussion to include developments around objectivity in the UK, Australia, Asia and other regions.
In this book, scholars examine the many prevailing arguments about media bias from a non-polemical perspective. Essays cover individual forms of bias, including ideology, politics, television, photography, religion, abortion, homosexuality, gender, race, crime, environment, region, military, corporate ownership, labor and health. Each essay introduces the topic, presents arguments for and against the specific bias, assesses the evidence for all arguments, and includes a list of suggested readings. Two additional essays discuss the broader aspects of the bias debate and give a personal perspective on reporting the controversial Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.
The Encyclopedia of American Journalism explores the distinctions found in print media, radio, television, and the internet. This work seeks to document the role of these different forms of journalism in the formation of America's understanding and reaction to political campaigns, war, peace, protest, slavery, consumer rights, civil rights, immigration, unionism, feminism, environmentalism, globalization, and more. This work also explores the intersections between journalism and other phenomena in American Society, such as law, crime, business, and consumption. The evolution of journalism's ethical standards is discussed, as well as the important libel and defamation trials that have influenced journalistic practice, its legal protection, and legal responsibilities. Topics covered include: Associations and Organizations; Historical Overview and Practice; Individuals; Journalism in American History; Laws, Acts, and Legislation; Print, Broadcast, Newsgroups, and Corporations; Technologies.
This book argues that the no-Marxists mostly have it wrong. Although corporate media are structurally organized to maximize profits and produce content that generally helps elites achieve their goals, this does not mean corporate media have less capacity to facilitate social change than entrepreneurial or other forms of media. In fact, historical evidence and comparative critical studies presented in this book show that mass media become more, not less, critical of dominant power groups, institutions and value systems as they become more "corporatized."This proposition is part of a larger theoretical model that integrates the role of both social structure and human agency in explaining the persistence of modern capitalism. The structural part of the theory also enables scholars to make predictions about the future of mass media, including the ideas that the Internet is "stealing" some of the mediating power of traditional mass media, and the market power of global media will grow in absolute terms but will shrink in relative terms because of increasing competition from new and traditional media.
This volume is an introduction to the underpinnings of journalism ethics, and a guide for journalists and journalism teachers looking for ways to form consistent and informed ethical decisions
The history of American journalism is marked by disturbing representations of people and communities of color, from the disgraceful stereotypes of pre-civil rights America, to the more subtle myths that are reflected in routine coverage by journalists all over the country. Race and News: Critical Perspectives aims to examine these journalistic representations of race, and in doing so to question whether or not we are living in a post-racial world. By looking at national coverage of stories like the Don Imus controversy, Hurricane Katrina, Barak Obama's presidential candidacy, and even the Virginia Tech shootings, readers are given an opportunity to gain insight into both subtle and overt forms of racism in the newsroom and in national dialogue. The book itself is divided into two sections, with the first examining the journalistic routine and the decisions that go into covering a story with, or without, relation to race. The second section, comprised of case studies, explores the coverage of national stories and how they have impacted the dialogue on race and racism in the United States. As a whole, the collection of essays and studies also reflects a variety of research approaches. With a goal of contributing to the discussion about race and its place in American journalism, this broad examination makes Race and News an ideal text for courses on cultural diversity and the media, as well as making it valuable to professional journalists and journalism students who seek to improve their approach to coverage of diverse communities.
If American journalism were a religion, as it has been called, then its supreme deity would be "objectivity." The high priests of the profession worship the concept, while the iconoclasts of advocacy journalism, new journalism, and cyberjournalism consider objectivity a golden calf. Meanwhile, a groundswell of tabloids and talk shows and the increasing infringement of market concerns make a renewed discussion of the validity, possibility, and aim of objectivity a crucial pursuit. Despite its position as the orbital sun of journalistic ethics, objectivity—until now—has had no historian. David T. Z. Mindich reaches back to the nineteenth century to recover the lost history and meaning of this central tenet of American journalism. His book draws on high profile cases, showing the degree to which journalism and its evolving commitment to objectivity altered–and in some cases limited—the public's understanding of events and issues. Mindich devotes each chapter to a particular component of this ethic–detachment, nonpartisanship, the inverted pyramid style, facticity, and balance. Through this combination of history and cultural criticism, Mindich provides a profound meditation on the structure, promise, and limits of objectivity in the age of cybermedia.
Despite the fact that the public's trust in the news media is at historic lows, despite the fact that hardly a day goes by without another report of unethical behavior by news professionals, journalists and teachers remain dedicated to ethical issues—perhaps more so now than at any other time in history. News companies are developing rigorous codes of conduct; journalists and editors are vigorously reporting on ethical lapses by their peers, and many journalism schools are creating standalone courses in journalism ethics and hiring faculty members who are devoted to ethics research and instruction. Using more than two-dozen actual cases from around the world to examine and apply those principles of ethical journalism, Knowlton and Reader suggest an easy-to-follow, commonsense approach to making ethical decisions in the newsroom as deadlines loom. Moral Reasoning for Journalists serves as an introduction to the underpinnings of journalism ethics, and as a guide for journalists and journalism teachers looking for ways to make ethical choices beyond going with your gut.
Politics, Society, and the Media is the first comprehensive political sociology of the media to be published in Canada. Paul Nesbitt-Larking draws upon a range of disciplines, including cultural and media studies, political economy, social theory, and political science to provide an analysis of the relationship between power and representation in Canada. The framework for the book presents a model of the mutual interaction between politics and the media. Attention is focused in the early chapters on how cultural, ideological, economic, and governmental forces shape and condition the production of media in Canada. Chapters on the work of Innis, Grant, McLuhan, and their postmodern successors place the evolution of McLuhan's theoretical argument that "the medium is the message" at the heart of the book. Canadian identity, and how to understand Canadian media politically, is the subject of a chapter on textual analysis. Two extensive chapters follow on the media’s influence and effects on politics. In addition to standard topics on politics and the media, this new edition offers much more: an examination of the media on the politics of gender and aboriginal peoples, the micro-politics of the media workplace, and an exploration of important media-related considerations. Throughout, reference is made to relevant and compelling issues placed within the context of media theory.
Ubiquitous news, global information access, instantaneous reporting, interactivity, multimedia content, extreme customization: Journalism is undergoing the most fundamental transformation since the rise of the penny press in the nineteenth century. Here is a report from the front lines on the impact and implications for journalists and the public alike. John Pavlik, executive director of the Center for New Media at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, argues that the new media can revitalize news gathering and reengage an increasingly distrustful and alienated citizenry. The book is a valuable reference on everything from organizing a new age newsroom to job hunting in the new media.
Local newspaper reporter Lauri Lebo was handed the story of a lifetime when the Dover (Pennsylvania) School Board adopted a measure to require its ninth-grade biology students to learn about intelligent design. In a case that recalled the famed 1925 Scopes “monkey” trial and made international headlines, eleven parents sued the school board. When the case wound up in federal court before a George W. Bush–appointed judge, Lebo had a front-row seat. Destined to become required reading for a generation of journalists, scientists, and science teachers, as well as for anyone concerned about the separation of church and state, The Devil in Dover is Lebo’s widely praised account of a perfect storm of religious intolerance, First Amendment violations, and an assault on American science education. Lebo skillfully probes the compelling background of the case, introducing us to the plaintiffs, the defendants, the lawyers, and a parade of witnesses, along with Judge John E. Jones, who would eventually condemn the school board’s decision as one of “breathtaking inanity.” With the antievolution battle having moved to the state level—and the recent passage of state legislation that protects the right of schools to teach alternatives to evolution—the story will continue to be relevant for years to come.
In using case studies such as Touching the Void (2003) and the films of Nick Broomfield, this timely introduction to the growing field of documentary explores the definition and understanding of the form, as well as the relationship between documentary and drama, specifically the notion of reconstruction and reenactment. Paul Ward also discusses animated documentaries, the fertile genre of comedy, and feature-length contemporary works that have achieved widespread cinematic release.
In Partisan Journalism: A History of Media Bias in the United States, Jim A. Kuypers guides readers on a journey through American journalistic history, focusing on the warring notions of objectivity and partisanship. Kuypers shows how the American journalistic tradition grew from partisan roots and, with only a brief period of objectivity in between, has returned to those roots today. The book begins with an overview of newspapers during Colonial times, explaining how those papers openly operated in an expressly partisan way; he then moves through the Jacksonian era’s expansion of both the press and its partisan nature. After detailing the role of the press during the War Between the States, Kuypers demonstrates that it was the telegraph, not professional sentiment, that kicked off the movement toward objective news reporting. The conflict between partisanship and professionalization/objectivity continued through the muckraking years and through World War II, with newspapers in the 1950s often being objective in their reporting even as their editorials leaned to the right. This changed rapidly in the 1960s when newspaper editorials shifted from right to left, and progressive advocacy began to slowly erode objective content. Kuypers follows this trend through the early 1980s, and then turns his attention to demonstrating how new communication technologies have changed the very nature of news writing and delivery. In the final chapters covering the Bush and Obama presidencies, he traces the growth of the progressive and partisan nature of the mainstream news, while at the same time explores the rapid rise of alternative news sources, some partisan, some objective, that are challenging the dominance of the mainstream press. This book steps beyond a simple charge-counter-charge of political bias in the news in that it offers an argument that the press in America, except for a brief period, was essentially partisan from its inception and has returned with a vengeance to its original roots. The final argument presented in the book is that this new development may actually be healthy for American Democracy.
The Media and Financial Crises provides unique insights into the debate on the role of the media in the global financial crisis. Coverage is inter-disciplinary, with contributions from media studies, political economy and journalists themselves. It features a wide range of countries, including the USA, UK, Ireland, Greece, Spain and Australia, and a completely new history of financial crises in the British press over 150 years. Editors Steve Schifferes and Richard Roberts have assembled an expert set of contributors, including Joseph E Stiglitz and Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times. The role of the media has been central in shaping our response to the financial crisis. Examining its performance in comparative and historical perspectives is crucial to ensuring that the media does a better job next time. The book has five distinct parts: The Banking Crisis and the Media The Euro-Crisis and the Media Challenges for the Media The Lessons of History Media Messengers Under Interrogation The Media and Financial Crises offers broad and coherent coverage, making it ideal for both students and scholars of financial journalism, journalism studies, media studies, and media and economic history.
Journalism is often thought of as the fourth estate of democracy. This book suggests that journalism plays a more radical role in politics, and explores new ways of thinking about news media discourse. It develops an approach to investigating both hegemonic discourse and discursive fissures, inconsistencies and tensions. By analysing international news coverage of post-Soviet Russia, including the Beslan hostage-taking, Gazprom, Litvinenko and human rights issues, it demonstrates the (re)production of the common-sense social order in which one particular area of the world is more developed, civilized and democratic than other areas. However, drawing on Laclau, Mouffe and other post-foundational thinkers, it also suggests that journalism is precisely the site where the instability of this global social order becomes visible. The book should be of interest to scholars of discourse analysis, journalism and communication studies, cultural studies and political science, and to anyone interested in positive discourse analysis and practical counter-discursive strategies."
Answers a key question on the lips of many Americans as violence in Iraq continues and report after report reveals that President Bush's reasons for leading Americans to war were not backed by solid evidence: "Why weren't the media more skeptical during the rush to war?"
The sudden meltdown of the news media has sparked one of the liveliest debates in recent memory, with an outpouring of opinion and analysis crackling across journals, the blogosphere, and academic publications. Yet, until now, we have lacked a comprehensive and accessible introduction to this new and shifting terrain. In Will the Last Reporter Please Turn out the Lights, celebrated media analysts Robert W. McChesney and Victor Pickard have assembled thirty-two illuminating pieces on the crisis in journalism, revised and updated for this volume. Featuring some of today’s most incisive and influential commentators, this comprehensive collection contextualizes the predicament faced by the news media industry through a concise history of modern journalism, a hard-hitting analysis of the structural and financial causes of news media’s sudden collapse, and deeply informed proposals for how the vital role of journalism might be rescued from impending disaster. Sure to become the essential guide to the journalism crisis, Will the Last Reporter Please Turn out the Lights is both a primer on the news media today and a chronicle of a key historical moment in the transformation of the press.
In this new important book, Graldine Muhlmann provides a comparative history of the rise of modern journalism, from the revolution of the late nineteenth century, with its new concern for facts, through to the present day. Her account is structured around the tension between what she calls the unifying and decentring tendencies in modern journalism that is, the concern to give readers a truth that is acceptable to all, on the one hand, and the concern to resist dominant representations and give voice to alternative views, on the other. She illustrates her account with a wide range of case studies, from Sverine, who covered the trial of Dreyfus in late nineteenth-century France, to the great Vietnam War reporters, Seymour M. Hersh and Michael Herr. In between are fascinating new readings of famous figures like George Orwell and Norman Mailer as well as some less well-known writers, such as the great American muckraker, Lincoln Steffens, and the French crusading journalist, Albert Londres. This historical and comparative account of the rise of modern journalism will be an ideal text for courses in journalism, political communication and media history. Written by an author who believes that journalism is crucial to our modern democracies and that it deserves to be studied with knowledge and care, the book raises serious questions about the role of the reporter and about the sorts of journalism that are possible in the twenty-first century.