Archives: journalists

Elizabeth Cochran Seaman – Nellie Bly: allowing the girls to dream

April 5, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, journalists, reporters, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

When Elizabeth Cochran was 16 years old, she lived with her family in Pittsburgh. The year was 1880, and Elizabeth was intelligent and precocious. The Pittsburgh Dispatch ran an article titled “What Girls are Good For,” and the author concluded the girls were good for having babies and keeping house. It was not an unpopular • Read More »

Spy novels with a dash of humor and irony, an advocate of racial equality in the 19th century, and the results of denying readers: newsletter, March 12, 2021

March 14, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, journalists, newsletter, watercolor, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,392) on Friday, March 12, 2021.   One of the writing roles that I have never pictured myself fulfilling is that of a memoirist. Tell other people’s stories, I would say to my journalism students, not your own. Your job is to write about other people, not yourself. I • Read More »

Maxine Cheshire: a reporter’s instinct and a little luck

March 6, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, journalists, reporters, reporting, Women writers and journalists, writers.

Maxine Cheshire was a reporter who knew how to get under people’s skin. She irritated Frank Sinatra into a drunken, expletive-ridden rant that was witnessed by dozens of people. She made Jacqueline Kennedy cry and provoked a presidential call to her publisher. She exposed the Nixon family’s greed in keeping gifts from foreign leaders. More • Read More »

American Slavery As It Is: The book that changed American attitudes

July 16, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, journalism, journalists, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

Theodore Weld, his wife Angelina Grimké, and her sister Sarah Grimké were tired of the spin — although they didn’t use that term back in 1838. They were tired of people saying that black was white, up was down, and night was day. And they were tired of people believing the spin because that’s what • Read More »

America’s first female police officer, Dan Jenkins, lots of emails, and a modest proposal: newsletter, March 22, 2019

March 25, 2019 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, journalism, journalists, sports, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,866) on Friday, March 22, 2019.   The tractor came out of the barn and had a pretty good workout this week. We had a string of dry days that allowed me — finally! — to get into the garden with some much-needed sub-soiling and • Read More »

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The college admissions scandal: a modest proposal

March 21, 2019 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, journalism education, journalists, reporting, writing.

What has practically every story you’ve read or heard during the last couple of weeks about the college admissions scandal had in common? The journalists and commentators have consistently used the terms elite colleges or elite universities. They have done without any critical assessment of the terms themselves, and therein lies a problem — possibly The Problem. We • Read More »

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Josephine Herrick: her World War II legacy for veterans continues today

December 21, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, journalists, photojournalism.

When it comes to paying a lasting tribute to veterans, few people can match the work of Josephine Herrick. Herrick was a professional photographer in the 1930s and 40s with a successful studio in New York City when the United States went to war in 1941. She organized a group of 35 fellow-photographers to take • Read More »

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Facebook’s public image deteriorates as more of its private actions come to light

December 5, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, journalists, reporting.

After a scathing two-part documentary by Public Broadcasting Service’s Frontline in October (The Facebook Dilemma, discussed in a JPROF.com post a couple of weeks ago), Facebook’s reputation as an idealist company that wants to change the world and do go continues to deteriorate. Here’s the lead paragraph from a New York Times story (Facebook Used • Read More »

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James Gillray: puncturing the pompous with caricature

December 3, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: history, journalism, journalists, reporting.

Caricature is fairly common today (even amateurs like me try their hand at it), but in the late 18th century, it was a newly developing form of art, as well as social and political communication. And no one was better at it — a set a higher standard for others of his and those who • Read More »

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G.K. Chesterton: Everything about him was big, including his ‘colossal genius’

October 24, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, journalism, journalists, writers, writing.

In so many ways, Gilbert Keith (G.K.) Chesterton (1874-1936) was an enormous man. — Physically, he was massive: 6 feet 4 inches tall, he weighed more than 250 pounds. He had a shock of hair that on many days looked like it had exploded out of the right side of his head. — His writing production almost • Read More »

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Jury trials: a thing of the past?

July 30, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, journalists.

You’re accused of a crime. You didn’t do it. The prosecutor is aggressive; she says there’s ample evidence to convict you. You and an Orlando Drug Trafficking Defense Lawyer go over the evidence. He says there are procedural errors in the way the evidence has been acquired, and all in all, he doesn’t believe the case • Read More »

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Buried Truths podcast: a very American story, unfortunately

July 26, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, journalists, podcasting, reporters, reporting.

If you were an African-American in the 1940s and you wanted to participate in state and local politics, rural Georgia was not a kind or forgiving place. In fact, it could be very dangerous. That’s the story told by Hank Klibanoff, a journalist and now faculty member at Emory University in Atlanta, in the Buried • Read More »

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Good journalism saves lives

July 18, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, journalism, journalists, reporters, reporting.

Good journalism saves lives. In this Age of Hyperbole, that’s no exaggeration. A couple of weeks ago in the newsletter, I mentioned John Carreyrou, investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal, and the book he has written title Bad Blood. The book tells the story of Elizabeth Holmes. the wunderkind of Silicon Valley, and her • Read More »

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American Fire and Bad Blood: two excellent pieces of journalism

June 27, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, journalism, journalists, writers, writing.

Good journalism is hard to do — I have said this many times — and when I find some, I tend to pay some attention. A couple of examples of excellent long-form journalism that I have come across lately are American Fire by Monica Hesse and Bad Blood by John Carreyrou. American Fire: Love, Arson • Read More »

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‘The Feminine Mystique’ and the change in women’s status in the 1960s

February 21, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, journalists, writers, writing.

The book summed up many of the frustrations that middle-class women had experienced, especially if they had set aside ambitions and careers to become suburban housewives and mothers. From the day it was published, it sparked criticism from many quarters (and continues to do so today), but it struck a chord with many women and became a phenomenal best-seller over the following two years.

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