Americans waited nearly two years before the news media printed a combat photograph that showed a dead U.S. serviceman. The reasons for that wait were that such producing such photos are too shocking for the friends and families of the deceased and that the public’s morale and support for the war might be diminished. The […]
The book represents in a small way a declaration of religious independence from the Church of England that could be exercised by early residents of Massachusetts.
To those who lived through it (including me), nothing is comparable to those four days in 1963 beginning on Nov. 22 when we heard the news that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas. Televisions all over America went on and stayed on through Monday night. We had never seen anything like it […]
In April 1961, a few months after taking office as president of the United States, John F. Kennedy spoke to the American Newspaper Publishers Association about the importance of maintaining an open government. In the speech he said, “The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a […]
More than 100 years ago, newspaper humorist Finley Peter Dunne, speaking through his wise-beyond-years character Mr. Dooley, ended a soliloquy about the Supreme Court by saying: “That is, no matther whether th’ constitution follows th’ flag or not, th’ supreme coort follows th’ iliction returns.”
One of the most dramatic stories of a correspondent covering a battle in the Civil War is that of George Smalley of the New York Tribune and his adventure in getting his description of the battle of Antietam back to New York. Smalley’s first accounts of the 1862 battle were read by President Abraham Lincoln […]
Rable notes how difficult it was to cover such an encounter between armies and how hard it was to get information from the field to the publication for which the reporter worked. One other difficulty that reporters had: figuring out who won. It was not always apparent.
Communication and journalism were changed by the increase in speed in the 19th century — particularly the invention of the telegraph. Few scientific developments have changed life for everyone so radically.
It was first published by John Campbell in 1704. William David Sloan, a professor of journalism at the University of Alabama and one of America’s distinguished journalism historians, has put together an extensive history of this newspaper for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
The current PBS American Experience program is a two-part biography of Woodrow Wilson, one of America’s most important presidents. Mentioned in the series is journalist Ray Stannard Baker, a progressive journalist who promoted Wilson’s candidacy for the presidency and who became his good friend.
PBS will broadcast on Jan. 17-18, 2005, a two-part series on Jack Johnson, the heavyweight boxing champion, whose achievements and life shocked the white-dominated society of early 20 th century America. The film is titled “Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson.” Johnson is the first black man since the era of Reconstruction […]
This gallery constitutes one of the largest collections of photographs anywhere — comparable to that of the Library of Congress. Most of the photos were taken before 1923, putting them in the public domain but decreasing their value to news organizations.
Word comes today that the secret to one of the great politico-journalistic mysteries has been revealed: the identity of Deep Throat. It was Mark Felt, assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation during the Nixon administration. This is an important revelation, and not just to those of us who have followed the Watergate story […]
The trial of high school teacher John Scopes in Dayton, Tenn., 80 years ago this month remains one of the 20th century’s iconic events. It drew vast media attention and pitted cultural forces against one another that are still at war today. This week, to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the Scopes trial, the […]
This complete apologia for printers by Benjamin Franklin, nearly 300 years old, is still worth our consideration.
Because of several recent excellent biographies and a PBS series, America is being re-educated about the most remarkable of all the Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin. The man was many things during his long life: inventor, scientist, civic innovator, diplomat. What he wanted to be known as, however, was “printer.” His Apology for Printers, written in […]
In our modern Scots-invented world of bloviation, headlines and titles can’t stand the heat of a literalist’s kitchen. Note: This is a post that appeared on a previous blog in May, 2008. Being a literalist when it comes to words and their usage (though not without a sense of humor, I hope), I tend to […]
The upcoming Indiana primary is the most important primary election in the state in 40 years. The last time it happened, I was there, and I shook hands with Robert Kennedy. The talking heads of the TV babblerati certified it to be true — this is the first time in 40 years the Democratic primary […]
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