Academic journal article Journalism History

American Journalism: History, Principles, Practices

Academic journal article Journalism History

American Journalism: History, Principles, Practices

Article excerpt

Sloan, W. David, and Lisa Mullikin Parcell, eds. American Journalism: History, Principles, Practices. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, 2002. 384 pp. $39.95.

Some things are better than the sum of their parts. American Journalism, a collection of thirty-eight essays focusing on the historical development of one aspect of the foundations of journalism, is the opposite. While the book's overall standard gets high marks, some essays are better than others, and, taken as a whole, there is a bit too much overlap from chapter to chapter. Thus, the work, edited by prolific author and American Journalism Historians Association founder W. David Sloan and a doctoral student at the University of Alabama, works better as a reference for those seeking an overview of, say, the history of objectivity (chapter 21 or investigative journalism (chapter 22) than as a text to be read cover to cover.

The book aims to help journalists and students better understand their profession and to give a richer context for their work today. It achieves those goals. Between one set of covers, it brings together a range of concepts from several shelves of books about history, mass media principles and concepts, and professional practices. The mix ranges from Margaret Blanchard's summary of press freedom to Jim McPherson's examination of mergers, chains, and other economic factors to chapters on the history of war coverage and sports journalism. While the standard events and principles are developed, many pleasant surprises spring from the pages. For example, this reviewer was delighted to learn that the chief of the U.S. Forest Service, Gifford Pinchot, is credited with forming the first official press bureau. Or that pioneering NBC co-anchors Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, reading the evening news into television cameras in separate cities, ended stories with each other's names (as in, "That's the news at the White House today, Chet. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.