The Power of the Press: The Birth of American Political Reporting

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9780195051841: The Power of the Press: The Birth of American Political Reporting
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Many books have shown that journalists have political power, but none have offered a more wide-ranging account of how they got it than The Power of the Press. In this pioneering look at the birth of political journalism, Thomas Leonard traces the rise of political reporting through some fascinating corridors of American history: the exposés of the Revolutionary era, the "unfeeling accuracy" of Congressional reporting, the role of The New York Times and Harper's Weekly in attacking New York City's infamous Tweed Ring, and the emergence of "muckraking" at the beginning of the 20th century.
Leonard argues that the increasing power of the press in the political arena has been a double-edged sword. While political reporting nurtured the broad interest in politics that made democracy possible, he claims, it has become a threat to political participation.

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About the Author:


About the Author:
Thomas C. Leonard is Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of Above the Battle: War-Making in America from Appomattox to Versailles.

From Library Journal:

Newspapers and magazines helped Americans become interested in politics by creating "a vernaculara common language in both words and picturesfor political interests to be expressed and shared," says UC-Berkeley journalism professor Leonard. Interpretively sketching the history of American politics and the press from the 1700s to the muckrakers of the early 1900s, Leonard offers lively anecdotes and makes interesting connections between political behavior and reporting. But his illustrations are much too selective to support the premise that most Americans (or at least the electorate) in fact read what was reported and acted on it. Scholars of politics and of the press will find fresh perspectives in the book; and general readers will delight in its lively style. Thomas J. Davis, History Dept., Howard Univ., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Thomas C. Leonard
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