American Journalists: Getting The Story

Overview


In 60 essays, this volume profiles American journalists from colonial times to the present--reporters, editors, publishers, photographers, and broadcasters--whose careers reflected major developments in their profession and in the history of the United States. In a speech to Newsweek correspondents in 1963, publisher Philip Graham described journalism as "the first rough draft of history." These journalists confronted and helped to shape the discussion of major issues and events in American history, from the ...
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Overview


In 60 essays, this volume profiles American journalists from colonial times to the present--reporters, editors, publishers, photographers, and broadcasters--whose careers reflected major developments in their profession and in the history of the United States. In a speech to Newsweek correspondents in 1963, publisher Philip Graham described journalism as "the first rough draft of history." These journalists confronted and helped to shape the discussion of major issues and events in American history, from the American revolution through abolition, westward expansion, the Civil War, the civil rights movement, immigration, and the women's movement, as well as major constitutional issues involving the First Amendment protection of freedom of the press. Biographies of well-known journalists, from Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine to Walter Cronkite and Rupert Murdoch, appear alongside some who may be less familiar, such as Elias Boudinot, founder of the first Cherokee language newspaper; Abraham Cahan, editor of the Jewish Daily Forward; and Daniel Craig, who in the 1830s used carrier pigeons to ferry the news. Other subjects include Margaret Green Draper, the revolutionary printer; Claude Barnett, founder of the Associated Negro Press; photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White; war correspondent Ernie Pyle; and Allen Neuharth, founder of USA Today. Illustrations, fact boxes, and quotations from the subjects themselves make this volume an indispensable reference for students of American history as well as a fascinating read.

Journalists profiled include:
Horace Greeley
Frederick Douglass
Mark Twain
Thomas Nast
Joseph Pulitzer
Nellie Bly
William Randolph Hearst
Ida Wells-Barnett
H. L. Mencken
Dorothy Thompson
Walter Winchell
Red Smith
Edward R. Murrow
Walter Cronkite
Bernard Shaw
Cokie Roberts
Manuel de Dios Unanue and many more

Sixty essays on American news reporters, editors, publishers, and broadcasters, including Benjamin Franklin, Frederick Douglass, and Connie Chung, whose careers significantly advanced or symbolized major changes in journalism.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An informative compendium of biographical sketches detailing the personal and professional lives of an array of American journalists from 1700 to the present.... Especially fascinating and refreshing is the inclusion of a number of groundbreaking female journalists and several members of the long overlooked and vastly underrated African American press.... This lively collective biography also doubles as an invaluable introduction to the evolution of American journalism."--Booklist

"Reports on the leading figures of the American press from the early eighteenth century to today."--Publishers Weekly

"A real treat."--School Library Journal

"The readable text by Donald Ritchie shows how the work of these journalists influenced events and issues in our history... Illustrations, fact boxes, and quotations from the subjects themselves make this volume a valuable reference for students. By grouping the biographies into four time periods, the author increases the usefulness of this work in the curriculum."--Library Lane

"It wasn't always the case that historical collections like this, by a white author who profiles 57 journalists and adds shorter bios of 80 others, recognized people of color.... Well-referenced book for students."--National Association of Black Journalists

VOYA - Kim Carter
Fifty-seven journalists who significantly influenced their profession, from 1700 to the present, are profiled here. Shorter briefs highlight an additional eighty noteworthy journalists. The profiles represented are diverse, including twelve women such as the Loyalist publisher Margaret Green Draper, civil rights activist Ethel L. Payne, and the fearless foreign correspondent Georgie Ann Geyer. A variety of ethnicities are included, illustrating the "power of the press," from Elias Boudinot's founding of the Native American press in 1828 and Ida B. Wells-Barnett's turn-of-the-century crusade against "lynch law," to Abraham Cahan's Yiddish language newspaper's intelligent and sympathetic treatment of New York's Jewish immigrants and Hispanic American Manuel de Dios Unanue's aggressive investigation of political corruption and international drug trafficking. The history of American journalism and the individuals who contributed to its development is also the history of the American people. This includes the birth of the two political parties, the establishment of the now fiercely-guarded freedom of the press, and the movement from an educated elite to an informed populace. The role of Thomas Nast's political cartoons, the impact of photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White, and the rise of broadcast journalists Edward R. Murrow and global media baron Rupert Murdoch all contribute to a comprehensive tapestry of journalism's role in American lives. Profiles exhibit succinct journalistic style, covering early life, education, and pivotal influences as well as significant contributions, philosophies, and notable incidents in each journalist's life and career. A summary of each journalist's birth, death, education, and accomplishments; photos or illustrations; an excerpt or quote from his or her work; and a bibliography for further reading are included. A listing of "Museums and Historic Sites Relating to American Journalism," an extensive bibliography of general history and print and broadcast journalism, and a comprehensive index provide valuable access to supplemental information. A notable example of the best of reference, American Journalists continues Oxford University Press's hallmark of excellence. Index. Illus. Photos. Biblio. Further Reading.
Library Journal
As a part of the publisher's series intended to introduce young readers to a wide range of professions, this volume profiles 57 American journalists from the past 300 years. Ritchie Press Gallery, Harvard Univ., 1991, an associate U.S. Senate historian, divides his book into four parts representing significant time periods for American journalism. Each section includes biographical sketches of major journalists, along with illustrations, photographs, and suggestions for further reading. An entry on Elias Boudinot b.1803 documents early efforts to establish a Native American press, while the profile of Manual de Dios Unanue b.1943 records his martyrdom at the hands of drug traffickers while he served as editor of New York's Spanish-language newspaper El Diario-La Prensa. Including journalists from a wide range of backgrounds, this book will be a valuable addition to public libraries.Judy Solberg, George Washington Univ., Washington. D.C.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-From Benjamin Franklin to Cokie Roberts, these biographical sketches give readers a glimpse into the news media profession. The 56 main articles, each approximately 5 pages in length, are clearly written and arranged chronologically into four periods. Each section is supplemented by a short introduction and ends with "More American Journalists to Remember," which offers summaries on such notables as Adolph Ochs, William Cullen Bryant, and David Brinkley. The black-and-white photographs and reproductions are well chosen and often informative. The shot of a cigar-smoking H.L. Mencken sitting at a manual typewriter captures The Front Page essence of reporting in the 1920s, while a grinning Georgie Ann Geyer interviewing Yasir Arafat personifies the new face of journalism in the 1980s and `90s. All entries include a sidebar with biographical information and a list of accomplishments. The book concludes with a list of related museums and historical sites. Like sushi and avocado flavored ice cream, this book may have limited appeal, but for those so inclined it will prove a real treat.-Herman Sutter, Saint Pius X High School, Houston, TX
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195099072
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/1/1998
  • Series: Oxford Profiles Series
  • Pages: 336
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald A. Ritchie is the author of The Young Oxford Companion to the Congress of the United States, Press Gallery: Congress and the Washington Correspondents. He is associate historian of the U.S. Senate.

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