The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that Will Begin the World Again

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9781568586052: The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that Will Begin the World Again
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Daily newspapers are closing across America. Washington bureaus are shuttering; whole areas of the federal government are now operating with no press coverage. International bureaus are going, going, gone.

Journalism, the counterbalance to corporate and political power, the lifeblood of American democracy, is not just threatened. It is in meltdown.

In The Death and Life of American Journalism, Robert W. McChesney, an academic, and John Nichols, a journalist, who together founded the nation’s leading media reform network, Free Press, investigate the crisis. They propose a bold strategy for saving journalism and saving democracy, one that looks back to how the Founding Fathers ensured free press protection with the First Amendment and provided subsidies to the burgeoning print press of the young nation.

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About the Author:

Robert W. McChesney is a professor in the department of communications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He hosts the Media Matters on WILL-AM radio, and is the author of Rich Media, Poor Democracy. He lives in Illinois and Wisconsin.

John Nichols is The Nation‘s Washington correspondent, a contributing writer for The Progressive, and the associate editor of the Capital Times. He is the author of Jews for Buchanan, Dick, and Our Media, Not Theirs (with McChesney). He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

From Booklist:

*Starred Review* American newspapers are dying at an alarming rate, killed off by a failing corporate model that puts profits before journalism and a reliance on advertisers who are flocking to the Internet. Respected journalists McChesney and Nichols offer historical perspective—how we got into this sorry state—and analysis from journalists, economists, and advocates on how we might be able to get out of it. They cite statistics, chronicling efforts to move newsgathering to the Internet and the success of many bloggers who rely on aggregated news from old media. Their bottom line: without some kind of government support, journalism as we know it will not survive. Despite resistance to the idea of government support of media, they point to postal subsidies dating back to the 1700s. They also offer the model of government and philanthropic support of media in Britain (the BBC and the Guardian), as well as the much leaner history of government support for public broadcasting in the U.S. Among their suggestions: worker and community cooperative ownership of local media and quasi nonprofit news organizations. The authors argue passionately for radical solutions but also offer an exhilarating vision for the direction of American journalism. --Vanessa Bush

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