Dark Days in the Newsroom: McCarthyism Aimed at the Press

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Dark Days in the Newsroom traces how journalists became radicalized during the Depression era, only to become targets of Senator Joseph McCarthy and like-minded anti-Communist crusaders during the 1950s. Edward Alwood, a former news correspondent, describes this remarkable story of conflict, principle, and personal sacrifice with noticeable élan. He shows how McCarthy's minions pried inside newsrooms thought to be sacrosanct under the First Amendment, and details how some journalists mounted a heroic defense of freedom of the press while others secretly enlisted in the government's anti-communist crusade.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

The tension between national security and freedom runs through U.S. history, with the balance shifting as threats are detected or dispatched. Former CNN correspondent Alwood (journalism, Quinnipiac Univ.) explores this tension in his examination of how journalists were targeted during the anti-communist hysteria of the 1950s. (During the Depression, many journalists were attracted to radical movements, and some were instrumental in forming the Newspaper Guild, drawing the FBI's attention.) Alwood relies on previously undisclosed FBI documents to show how journalists were monitored in the 1950s, focusing on hearings held by the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, chaired by Sen. James Eastland. Journalists were divided in their response, with some cooperating and turning over names while others resisted in an effort to defend the freedom of the press. Under the cover of the anti-communism crusade, Alwood shows, were apprehensions regarding unionism and press coverage of the burgeoning Civil Rights movement. He traces the impact of the Eastland hearings and subsequent court cases about freedom of the press through the Valerie Plame case in summer 2005. This is a fascinating and detailed look at one aspect of the McCarthy era that continues to influence contemporary journalism. Academic libraries will want to purchase for their journalism or U.S. history collections.
—Judy Solberg

From the Publisher
"Writing a blurb for this book would be a snap: ‘Every serious journalist should read this fascinating, superbly researched, thoroughly documented, and invaluable historical account of a frightening, sustained and vicious assault on robust journalism—an assault that has great resonance today,’ is what I’d say…For those not old enough to have lived through this time in our nation’s history, having the chance this book gives to absorb its valuable lessons is a gift worth sampling."
—Nieman Reports
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592133420
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward Alwood is Associate Professor of Journalism at Quinnipiac University and former correspondent for CNN. He is the author of Straight News: Gays, Lesbians, and the News Media.
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Table of Contents

Preface     xi
Acknowledgments     xiii
Introduction     1
Awakening the Newsroom     12
The Politics of Anticommunism     24
Prelude to an Investigation     40
Reds in the Newsroom     51
The Specter of McCarthy     65
Dark Clouds over the Newsroom     80
The Investigation     95
Deeper Trouble     108
Journalists and the First Amendment     122
Living with the Legacy     138
Epilogue     149
Notes     155
Selected Bibliography     191
Index     195
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2012

    Shadowstar as cat of the week

    Shadowstar of finalclan came across a few rougues in the woods yesterday they attacked him viciously in an unfair fight. He chased them off. Then today they came to him because there was no where to live he realized that they were starving so he allowed them to take from the freshkill pile. He wasnt even mad about yesterday he should be cat of th week

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2012


    Please suggest a cat for the weekly newspaper. This cat may have been in a Clan for a long amount of time. Or have done an amazingly nice deed. -Freestar

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