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University of California Press
Getting It Wrong: Debunking the Greatest Myths in American Journalism / Edition 2

Getting It Wrong: Debunking the Greatest Myths in American Journalism / Edition 2

by W. Joseph Campbell
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Many of American journalism’s best-known and most cherished stories are exaggerated, dubious, or apocryphal. They are media-driven myths, and they attribute to the news media and their practitioners far more power and influence than they truly exert.
In Getting It Wrong, writer and scholar W. Joseph Campbell confronts and dismantles prominent media-driven myths, describing how they can feed stereotypes, distort understanding about the news media, and deflect blame from policymakers. Campbell debunks the notions that the Washington Post’s Watergate reporting brought down Richard M. Nixon’s corrupt presidency, that Walter Cronkite’s characterization of the Vietnam War in 1968 shifted public opinion against the conflict, and that William Randolph Hearst vowed to “furnish the war” against Spain in 1898. This expanded second edition includes a new preface and new chapters about the first Kennedy-Nixon debate in 1960, the haunting Napalm Girl photograph of the Vietnam War, and bogus quotations driven by the Internet and social media.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520291294
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 10/25/2016
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 388,253
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

W. Joseph Campbell, a former newspaper and wire service journalist, is Professor in the School of Communication at American University in Washington, DC. He is the author of five other books, including 1995: The Year the Future Began and Yellow Journalism: Puncturing the Myths, Defining the Legacies.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface to the Second Edition


1. “I’ll Furnish the War”: The Making of a Media Myth
2. Fright beyond Measure? The Myth of The War of the Worlds
3. Murrow vs. McCarthy: Timing Makes the Myth
4. TV Viewers, Radio Listeners, and the Myth of the First Kennedy-Nixon Debate
5. The Bay of Pigs–New York Times Suppression Myth
6. Debunking the “Cronkite Moment”
7. The Nuanced Myth: Bra Burning at Atlantic City
8. Picture Power? Confronting the Myths of the Napalm Girl Photograph
9. It’s All about the Media: Watergate’s Heroic-Journalist Myth
10. The “Fantasy Panic”: The News Media and the “Crack-Baby” Myth
11. “She Was Fighting to the Death”: Mythmaking in Iraq
12. Hurricane Katrina and the Myth of Superlative Reporting
13. Counterfeit Quotations: Swelling with a Digital Tide

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