Journalists At Risk: Reporting America's Wars

Journalists At Risk: Reporting America's Wars

by George Sullivan

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This title is an excellent mix of the history of journalism and American history. Since the beginning of America, during and following important historical events, a constant has always been the coverage of the events by journalists eager to share information with those back at home. With the invention of the telegraph in the late 1830s, news could be reported back to the home office and be on the streets by the next day. The reporting on the Mexican-American War—1846-1848—was the first time journalists used the telegraph in their work. World Wars I and II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, Desert Storm and the War on Terrorism as news and the changes in the technology for reporting are included. With photos taken of, and by the journalists, this book provides an exciting portrait of the risks taken by these men and women. It also tells the story of women in the foreign press and in war zones and their battle to have the opportunity to take the risks. Biographical information about these amazing people allows the reader to understand what and how they felt about their work. Included with brief biographical information are some comments made by twenty-two journalists. "Source Notes," a "Selected Bibliography," a listing for "Further Reading and Websites," and a list of "Places to Visit" precede the "Index" of this amazing book that will provide future journalists a basic history of the field. Teachers will find numerous ways to use the book—as American History, the history of journalism, women's rights, and technology. This book is part of the "People's History" series. 2006, Twenty-First Century Books, Ages 10 up.
—Naomi Williamson
A quote opposite the title page summarizes neatly: "Why are journalists drawn to the chaos of combat? [T]he allure is simple: war is the biggest story of all." This former U.S. Navy journalist gives a fascinating overview of American war reporting from the nation's previous wars, including the Civil War, two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, and in greater depth, the wars in Iraq. From the days when dispatches traveled on horseback to today's live satellite transmissions, the technology to speed reports from the battlefront has improved immeasurably. Conversely the difficulties confronting journalists have grown greater. From censorship by the military, seeking only reporting that aids the war effort, to the deliberate targeting of journalists by the enemy, the always risky job of a war correspondent has become ever more difficult, dangerous, and even lethal. Sullivan knows his subject and explains quite well the many pressures that shape the news that is disseminated. Perhaps compelled by the series guidelines to write to the lowest common reading level or as the victim of an overzealous editor, however, his sentences are often so short as to be choppy or occasionally ridiculous: "[C]ombat troops, helmeted with heavy backpacks, leap out . . . [of helicopters]." Nevertheless this book is an important addition to the school library. It is thoughtful and informative and raises crucial questions about the security of the nation versus the public's right to factual, nuanced information. An "honor roll" of famous American journalists with their own quotes and brief biographies is a nice addition to the text. Additional series titles discuss life during the American Revolution, art during the GreatDepression, and the history of women's rights among other topics in American history. (People's History). VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P J S (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2006, Lerner, 128p.; Index. Photos. Maps. Biblio. Source Notes. Further Reading., PLB . Ages 12 to 18.
—Rayna Patton
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-A thorough history of the role that the press plays in wartime, centering mostly on Pearl Harbor, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and the current war on terrorism. Sullivan begins with an overview of how reporters have actually covered battles, such as the handwritten reports from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, which were carried by hand or on horseback. Most of the book, however, deals with World War II and after. Sepia photos of Edward R. Murrow, Ernie Pyle, Marguerite Higgins, and others are scattered throughout. A chapter on Iraq describes the role of embedded journalists. Twenty-three reporters, including several women, are profiled, with a look at their careers and comments from them. An excellent, up-to-date resource.-Linda Beck, Indian Valley Public Library, Telford, PA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
People's History Series
Product dimensions:
7.50(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
10 - 17 Years

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