Mightier Than the Sword: How the News Media Have Shaped American History

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Westview Press, Feb 13, 1998 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 287 pages
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In this pathbreaking book, Rodger Streitmatter takes the reader on a sightseeing tour of American history as influenced by the public press, visiting fourteen landmark events in U.S. history, from the abolitionist movement and the struggle for women's rights to the civil rights movement and Watergate. These are events that stir the political imagination; but, as Streitmatter shows, they also demonstrate how American journalism, since the 1760s, has not merely recorded this nation's history but has played a role in shaping it.This book is the first of its kind. Streitmatter avoids the mind-numbing lists of names, dates, and newspaper headlines that bog down the standard journalism history textbook. Instead, Mightier than the Sword focuses on a limited number of episodes, identifying common characteristics within the news media. In his final essay, Streitmatter looks at how the news media have shaped our understanding of events; by drawing examples from various episodes, this synthesis chapter identifies some of the common characteristics that the news media involved in shaping this nation have displayed.

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Mightier than the sword: how the news media have shaped American history

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From the beginning of the American experience, the press has played a role in shaping public events. Journalism historian and communications professor Streitmatter (Unspeakable: The Rise of the Gay ... Read full review

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From the preview available online, it is quite obvious that its author has not listened to Rush Limbaugh. Further, were I to entertain even reading this book, all of it would be suspect because of the references he used on Rush. Having listened to Mr. Limbaugh for many years, what I saw of this chapter does not represent him in any manner. Too bad it is being recommended for future journalisms to read. As the mainstream media is so poorly instructed as it is, now I know why. 

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About the author (1998)

Rodger Streitmatter teaches at the School of Communication at the American University in Washington, D.C. He is the author of Raising Her Voice: African-American Women Journalists Who Changed History and Unspeakable: The Rise of the Gay and Lesbian Press in America.

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