American Media History

The Story of Journalism and Mass Media (Fourth Edition)
Anthony R. Fellow
©2022, 544 pages

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American Media History

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    American Media History is the story of a nation and of the events in the long battle to disseminate information, entertainment, and opinion in a democratic society. It is the story of the men and women whose inventions, ideas, and struggles shaped the nation and its media system and fought to keep both free.

    The text is organized chronologically and emphasizes the role the press played in the American Revolution to the present. Each chapter presents a story about media development, featuring a colorful and impressive cast of characters that includes, among others, James Franklin, Ida Tarbell, Bob Woodward, Margaret Bourke-White, Walter Cronkite, and Tarana Burke. Some of the players set standards for aspiring media professionals and others reveal tales of triumph, deceit, and the undeniable importance of freedom of speech and a free press.

    The fourth edition features new chapters that cover women’s rights, civil rights movements, significant moments in media history (such as 9/11 and the 2020 pandemic), fake news, bias news, and the social media presences of Barack Obama and Donald J. Trump. The text includes a streamlined introductory chapter, expanded coverage of women journalists during the Civil War, new American Media Profiles and timelines, new chapter opening quotations from famous communicators, and probing History Matters boxes that relate historical events and effects to the present day.

    At once an enjoyable and highly compelling text, American Media History is ideal for introductory courses in journalism, mass communication, and media history.

    Anthony R. Fellow, Ph.D. has been a distinguished professor of mass communications and journalism at California State Fullerton, California State Los Angeles, and the University of Southern California. He was a daily newspaper reporter and editor, covering state and national politics for ten years. He obtained his doctorate at the University of Southern California, where he was a Walter H. Annenberg Fellow. In recent years, he has served as a television host for public affairs programs.
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    Adopting instructors will receive discussion questions, a test bank of chapter quizzes and a sample syllabus.
    "[The book] provides students with not just who did what, but the basic assumptions behind actions and decisions that made the press/media system develop as it did in the US. For example, with this book, I can explain why our system has never been fully publicly funded when most other systems in the world have been at some point in their histories. The key for me is the why…and this book provides enough for me to develop answers to that question for each chapter."
    Margaret Haefner, Professor of Communications, North Park University

    "I like the conciseness of the chapters. Most journalism history books are huge and hard to get through for the average student. The book highlights major events but does not get lost in the details. This book is an easy read and captures the important developments in journalism history."
    William T. (Bill) Dean, Retired Professor of Communication, Texas Tech University

    "[The book’s] focus on the impacts of the media, and not just the facts of their development, on American society are important. … This book provides an excellent overview of the development and impact of the mass media from the country’s earliest days. It is rich in detail and profiles important media figures."
    Mark Ludwig, Professor of Journalism and Communication Studies, California State University, Sacramento

    "A complete yet concise book that does a good job of covering the history of media, broadly defined. The book is generally well-organized and written at a level appropriate to varied levels of undergraduates. Its focus features on media figures and classic examples of media provide illustration and detail. Unlike some books that address only the press or the electronic media, it addresses a wide variety of media: newspapers, magazines, radio, television, advertising, and the web. [The book is] up to date. While recency may not seem like a need in a history text, it is important in media history, given the pace at which things change."
    Bruce Drushel, Chair and Professor of Media and Culture, Miami University

    "I think this textbook is the best that I’ve seen out there."
    Andrew Harris Salomon, Associate Professor of Journalism, Purchase College