The Press in Times of Crisis

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Throughout American history, the press has been incredibly adept at making the public aware. The history of the press in crisis situations is in many ways the story of public attitudes and the story of America. This book looks at the press over time and the way it has functioned in times of crisis. It considers press coverage of 13 events, spanning a time frame that includes the birth of the nation, its political, economic, and social struggles as a young country, and its civil war. It tells how a young agrarian society grew into an industrial giant, and how it changed from isolationist to a world power. It relates how this country coped with the growth of socialism, two world wars, civil unrest, and with the problem of world overpopulation.

The American press has performed various functions throughout the years. The Colonial Press served as a vehicle of discussion, debate, and finally agitation and, in the process, may have defined itself and laid a groundwork for the press's future roles. The press has agitated, advocated, and persuaded. It has been duped, it has been unfair, and it has misled. This volume considers such concepts as advocacy journalism, a central theme of the chapters on abolitionists and David Duke, and social responsibility, a primary part of the chapter on Japanese-American internment. The press's attempt to lead public opinion is the focus of the chapters on the partisan press, the antebellum period, and the first Red Scare in 1919. The chapter on Joseph McCarthy looks at the concepts of objectivity and the use and misuse of pseudo news. The final chapter, on overpopulation, deals extensively with agenda setting.

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Editorial Reviews

Presents accounts of press coverage of 13 critical events in American history, from the Revolution ("Selling the American Revolution") into the 1990s ("David Duke and the New Orleans Times-Picayune") and even beyond ("Population: The Once and Future Environmental Crisis"). Extensive references. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

Meet the Author

LLOYD E. CHIASSON JR., is Professor of Mass Communication at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, LA.

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Table of Contents

1 Selling the American Revolution 1
2 Battle Without a Rule Book 23
3 The Legislation of Prior Restraint 41
4 Journalism for God and Man 49
5 Old Osawatomie Brown: Martyr or Madman? 67
6 Words for War 85
7 Journey to Cuba: The Yellow Crisis 103
8 Descent into Hell: The Red Crisis 121
9 The Japanese-American Enigma 137
10 McCarthy's Journalism 153
11 The Unraveling of America 169
12 David Duke and the New Orleans Times-Picayune 189
13 Population: The Once and Future Environmental Crisis 201
14 The Press and Crisis: What Have We Learned? 219
References 225
Index 245
About the Editor and Contributors 253
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