News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media

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Verso Books, Dec 23, 2011 - Social Science - 456 pages
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Here is a new, sweeping narrative history of American news media that puts race at the center of the story. From the earliest colonial newspapers to the Internet age, America’s racial divisions have played a central role in the creation of the country’s media system, just as the media has contributed to—and every so often, combated—racial oppression. News for All the People reveals how racial segregation distorted the information Americans received from the mainstream media. It unearths numerous examples of how publishers and broadcasters actually fomented racial violence and discrimination through their coverage. And it chronicles the influence federal media policies exerted in such conflicts. It depicts the struggle of Black, Latino, Asian, and Native American journalists who fought to create a vibrant yet little-known alternative, democratic press, and then, beginning in the 1970s, forced open the doors of the major media companies.

The writing is fast-paced, story-driven, and replete with memorable portraits of individual journalists and media executives, both famous and obscure, heroes and villains. It weaves back and forth between the corporate and government leaders who built our segregated media system—such as Herbert Hoover, whose Federal Radio Commission eagerly awarded a license to a notorious Ku Klux Klan organization in the nation’s capital—and those who rebelled against that system, like Pittsburgh Courier publisher Robert L. Vann, who led a remarkable national campaign to get the black-face comedy Amos ’n’ Andy off the air.

Based on years of original archival research and up-to-the-minute reporting and written by two veteran journalists and leading advocates for a more inclusive and democratic media system, News for All the People should become the standard history of American media.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
I The Age of Newspapers
17
II Rebel Voices
61
III The Age of News Networks
135
IV The Age of Broadcasting
183
V The Age of the Internet
341
Acknowledgements
377
Notes
379
Index
431
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Juan González is a two-time winner of the George Polk Award for commentary and former president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. He is the co-host of the nationally syndicated TV and radio show Democracy Now! and is a staff columnist for New York’s Daily News. His previous books include Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America; Fallout: The Environmental Consequences of the World Trade Center Collapse; and Roll Down Your Window: Stories from a Forgotten America.

Joseph Torres is the senior advisor for government and external affairs for Free Press, the national media reform organization. Before joining Free Press, he worked as deputy director at the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and was a journalist for several years. He lives in Silver Spring, MD.

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