Freedom of the press is the cornerstone of democracy. But, as countless recent examples of lapsed standards in the press since the Jayson Blair affair have shown, the First Amendment is no guarantee that American journalism will be first-rate. A press in crisis is a democracy endangered, argues Jeffrey Scheuer--cultural critic and author of The Sound Bite Society. In his new book, The Big Picture, Scheuer argues that in order for a democracy to thrive it is not enough for its press simply to be free--the press must be exceptional. This book explores journalistic excellence and its essential relationship with democracy, explaining why democracies depend on it and are only as good as their journalism. In The Big Picture, Scheuer explores journalistic excellence from three broad perspectives. First, from the democratic perspective, he shows how journalism is a core democratic function, and journalistic excellence a core democratic value. Then, from an intellectual perspective, he explores the ways in which journalism addresses basic concepts of truth, knowledge, objectivity, and ideology. Finally, from an institutional perspective, he considers the role and possible future of journalism education, the importance of journalistic independence, and the potential for nonprofit journalism to meet the journalistic needs of a democratic society. In lucid and accessible prose, The Big Picture provocatively demonstrates why we must all be vigilant about the quality of journalism today.
Exploring Current Practices in an Evolving Environment
Author: David A. Craig
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Like the technologies that support it, the craft of online journalism is evolving quickly. This timely book helps students develop standards of excellence, through interviews with more than 30 writers, editors and producers, and dozens of examples of strong work. The author provides a framework of concepts to show how the field is evolving and challenged by competition, staffing limitations, and other pressures. Discussion is organized around four key elements: speed and accuracy with depth in breaking news; comprehensiveness in multimedia content; open-endedness in story development, including public contributions; and conversation with users. Chapter-length treatments of these topics bring home the realities of online work to students, who also come to appreciate how excellence and ethics online go hand in hand.
Lament for America explores the major challenges to the status of the United States as a world superpower. In delving into the fundamental question of whether or not a relative decline is inevitable, the author recognizes that the changes faced over the next few decades will be more rapid and transformational than at any other period in American history. Lament for America offers concrete recommendations for renewal in areas such as defense policy, health care, education, and the environment, and serves as a useful guide to understanding how decisions will shape both the U.S. and global landscapes.
In a rapidly changing media landscape, what becomes of journalism? Designed to engage, inspire and challenge students while laying out the fundamental principles of the craft, Principles of American Journalism introduces students to the core values of journalism and its singularly important role in a democracy. From the First Amendment to Facebook, Stephanie Craft and Charles N. Davis provide a comprehensive exploration of the guiding principles of journalism—the ethical and legal foundations of the profession, its historical and modern precepts, the economic landscape, the relationships among journalism and other social institutions, and the key issues and challenges that contemporary journalists face. Case studies, discussion questions and field exercises help students to think critically about journalism’s function in society, creating mindful practitioners of journalism and more informed media consumers. With its bottom line under assault, its values being challenged from without and from within and its future anything but certain, it has never been more important to think about what’s unique about journalism. This text is ideal for use in introductory Principles of Journalism courses, and the companion website provides a full complement of student and instructor resources to enhance the learning experience and connect to the latest news issues and events.
Technological innovation and conglomeration in communication industries has been accelerating the commodification of the news into just another product. The emphasis on the bottom line has resulted in newsroom budget cuts and other business strategies that seriously endanger good journalism. Meanwhile, the growing influence of the Internet and partisan commentary has led even journalists themselves to question their role. In Journalism as Practice, Sandra L. Borden shows that applying philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre's ideas of a 'practice' to journalism can help us to understand what is at stake for society and for those in the newsrooms who have made journalism their vocation. She argues that developing and promoting the kind of robust group identity implied by the idea of a practice can help journalism better withstand the moral challenges posed by commodification. Throughout, the book examines key U.S. journalism ethics cases since 2000. Some of these cases, such as Dan Rather’s "Memogate" scandal, are explored in detail in Practically Speaking sections that discuss relevant cases at length. This book is essential reading for students and practicing journalists interested in preserving the ethical role of journalism in promoting the public good.
Evidence of violence and hatred worldwide - from the bombing of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 to the war in Iraq to the recent war between Israel and Hezbollah - call special attention to the critical importance of empathy in human affairs. Only when we begin to understand more fully the workings of empathy do we begin to be able to make sense of what happens to humans on a global scale. In Empathy in a Global World, Carolyn Calloway-Thomas examines the nature and zones of empathy, exploring how an understanding of empathy shapes global talk and action. This text presents the foundations of empathy, the historical beginnings of empathy, and the global practices of empathy, all with an eye toward understanding how and why this important concept matters. This book explores how empathetic literacy is crucial in addressing intercultural issues; how it is needed in decision making; how it is communicated via the media; and how it affects global issues such as poverty and environmental diasters. Second, the book goes beyond existing knowledge on empathy and extends into the realms of media, global class issues, the world of NGOs, and natural disasters. As such, the book takes readers on a tour of empathyÆs nature, uses, practices and potentials in this manner. In this regard, the proposed book breaks new and compelling ground.Third, in its scope, the book exploits the disciplines of communication, black studies, education, history, cultural studies, media, philanthropy, psychology, religious studies, and sociology to bring fresh insights into the discourse, dynamics, patterns, and practices of empathy.
Social Policy Analysis in the White House, Congress, and the Federal Agencies
Author: Walter Williams
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
Category: Political Science
In Honest Numbers and Democracy, Walter Williams offers a revealing history of policy analysis in the federal government and a scorching critique of what’s wrong with social policy analysis today. Williams, a policy insider who witnessed the birth of domestic policy analysis during the Johnson administration, contends that the increasingly partisan U.S. political environment is vitiating both "honest numbers" — the data used to direct public policy — and, more importantly, honest analysts, particularly in the White House. Drawing heavily on candid off-the-record interviews with political executives, career civil servants, elected officials and Washington-based journalists, Williams documents the steady deformation of social policy analysis under the pressure of ideological politics waged by both the executive and legislative branches. Beginning with the Reagan era and continuing into Clinton’s tenure, Williams focuses on the presidents’ growing penchant to misuse and hide numbers provided by their own analysts to assist in major policy decisions. Honest Numbers and Democracy is the first book to examine in-depth the impact of the electronic revolution, its information overload, and rampant public distrust of the federal government's data on the practice of policy analysis. A hard-hitting account of the factors threatening the credibility of the policymaking process, this book will be required reading for policy professionals, presidential watchers, and anyone interested in the future of U.S. democracy.
How the U.S., Iran, and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East
Author: Andrew Scott Cooper
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
struggling with a recession . . . European nations at risk of defaulting on their loans . . . A possible global financial crisis. It happened before, in the 1970s. Oil Kings is the story of how oil came to dominate U.S. domestic and international affairs. As Richard Nixon fought off Watergate inquiries in 1973, the U.S. economy reacted to an oil shortage initiated by Arab nations in retaliation for American support of Israel in the Arab- Israeli war. The price of oil skyrocketed, causing serious inflation. One man the U.S. could rely on in the Middle East was the Shah of Iran, a loyal ally whose grand ambitions had made him a leading customer for American weapons. Iran sold the U.S. oil; the U.S. sold Iran missiles and fighter jets. But the Shah’s economy depended almost entirely on oil, and the U.S. economy could not tolerate annual double-digit increases in the price of this essential commodity. European economies were hit even harder by the soaring oil prices, and several NATO allies were at risk of default on their debt. In 1976, with the U.S. economy in peril, President Gerald Ford, locked in a tight election race, decided he had to find a country that would sell oil to the U.S. more cheaply and break the OPEC monopoly, which the Shah refused to do. On the advice of Treasury Secretary William Simon and against the advice of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Ford made a deal to sell advanced weaponry to the Saudis in exchange for a modest price hike on oil. Ford lost the election, but the deal had lasting consequences. The Shah’s economy was destabilized, and disaffected elements in Iran mobilized to overthrow him. The U.S. had embarked on a long relationship with the autocratic Saudi kingdom that continues to this day. Andrew Scott Cooper draws on newly declassified documents and interviews with some key figures of the time to show how Nixon, Ford, Kissinger, the CIA, and the State and Treasury departments—as well as the Shah and the Saudi royal family— maneuvered to control events in the Middle East. He details the secret U.S.-Saudi plan to circumvent OPEC that destabilized the Shah. He reveals how close the U.S. came to sending troops into the Persian Gulf to break the Arab oil embargo. The Oil Kings provides solid evidence that U.S. officials ignored warning signs of a potential hostage crisis in Iran. It discloses that U.S. officials offered to sell nuclear power and nuclear fuel to the Shah. And it shows how the Ford Administration barely averted a European debt crisis that could have triggered a financial catastrophe in the U.S. Brilliantly reported and filled with astonishing details about some of the key figures of the time, The Oil Kings is the history of an era that we thought we knew, an era whose momentous reverberations still influence events at home and abroad today.
Choice Outstanding Academic Title of 2016 From the presidential race to the battle for the office of New York City mayor, American political candidates’ approach to new media strategy is increasingly what makes or breaks their campaign. Targeted outreach on Facebook and Twitter, placement of a well-timed viral ad, and the ability to roll with the memes, flame wars, and downvotes that might spring from ordinary citizens’ engagement with the issues—these skills are heralded as crucial for anyone hoping to get their views heard in a chaotic election cycle. But just how effective are the kinds of media strategies that American politicians employ? And what effect, if any, do citizen-created political media have on the tide of public opinion? In Controlling the Message, Farrar-Myers and Vaughn curate a series of case studies that use real-time original research from the 2012 election season to explore how politicians and ordinary citizens use and consume new media during political campaigns. Broken down into sections that examine new media strategy from the highest echelons of campaign management all the way down to passive citizen engagement with campaign issues in places like online comment forums, the book ultimately reveals that political messaging in today’s diverse new media landscape is a fragile, unpredictable, and sometimes futile process. The result is a collection that both interprets important historical data from a watershed campaign season and also explains myriad approaches to political campaign media scholarship—an ideal volume for students, scholars, and political analysts alike.