This concise history of the news broadcasting industry will appeal to both students and general readers. Stretching from the "radio days" of the 1920s and 1930s and the early era of television after World War II through to the present, the book shows how commercial interests, regulatory matters, and financial considerations have long shaped the broadcasting business. The network dominance of the 1950s ushered in the new prominence of the "anchorman," a distinctly American development, and gave birth to the "golden age" of TV broadcasting, which featured hard-hitting news and documentaries epitomized by the reports by CBS's Edward R. Murrow. Financial pressures and advertising concerns in the 1960s led the networks to veer away from their commitment to serve the public interest, and "tabloid" television - celebrity, gossip-driven "soft news" - and news "magazines" became increasingly widespread. In the 1980s cable news further transformed broadcasting, igniting intense competition for viewers in the media marketplace. Focusing on both national and local news, this stimulating volume examines the evolution of broadcast journalism. It also considers how new electronic technologies will affect news delivery in the 21st century, and whether television news can still both serve the public interest and maintain an audience.
Part I. Broadcasting and the Culture of News; 1. Electronic Journalism in a New Era; 2. Beginnings: The Ethic of Commercialism; 3. The Era of Network Dominance; Part II. Seismic Shifts in Television News; 4. "60 Minutes" and the News Magazine; 5. Tabloid Television and a World of Talk; 6. Hard News-Soft News; 7. Prime-Time News Values; 8. The Impact of CNN; 9. Celebrity News; Part III. Public Service in the Digital Age; 10. Local News; 11. Network News and the New Environment; 12. Electronic Journalism and the Public Interest