Issues in Contemporary American Journalism  book cover
1st Edition

Issues in Contemporary American Journalism

Edited By

Hans C. Schmidt

  • Available for pre-order on April 24, 2023. Item will ship after May 15, 2023
ISBN 9781032325514
May 15, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
264 Pages

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Book Description

Bringing together the diverse perspectives of over 20 leading journalism scholars, this collection provides an original insight into the history of American journalism and issues that exist and have existed within the industry for decades.

The culture of journalism is in constant flux, with both individual journalists and the news industry as a whole regularly finding themselves at the center of controversy. While heightened in recent years, such controversy is not new and could in fact be considered a hallmark of the profession. With this in mind, this book presents original perspectives into issues and debates regarding the role of journalism in America, journalistic objectivity and ethics, diversity and representation, war and conflict reporting, local news, fake news, and hostility towards journalists. Each of the seven sections begins with a topical overview and ends with a short essay written by a leader in the field.

Issues in Contemporary American Journalism is recommended reading for anyone studying the history and evolution of journalism in the US at an advanced level.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors


Hans C. Schmidt


Hans C. Schmidt

Section I: The Role of Journalism in America

Section I Introduction

Hans C. Schmidt

Chapter 1

A Brief History of Journalism in the United States

Hans C. Schmidt

Chapter 2

The Free Press: A Confusing History and Uncertain Future

Gina Baleria

Chapter 3

How Free and How Responsible? The 75th Anniversary of the Hutchins Commission Report

Lois A. Boynton


The Importance of Journalism Today

Dane S. Claussen


Section II: Rethinking Journalistic Objectivity and Ethics

Section II Introduction

Hans C. Schmidt

Chapter 4

Journalism Ethics: Dilemmas and Decisions

Maggie Jones Patterson

Chapter 5

Journalistic Objectivity: A Gold Standard or Myth?

E. S. McIntyre

Chapter 6

How Journalistic Objectivity Turns Matters of Science into Matters of Politics: A Closer Look at Climate Change and COVID-19 Reporting

Jason Turcotte and Nicolas Hernandez Florez


When Objectivity Isn’t Enough: A Case Study on Feminicidios, Violence Against Women, and Anti-Violence Activism

Leandra H. Hernández



SECTION III: Diversity and Representation in Journalism

Section III Introduction

Hans C. Schmidt

Chapter 7

African American Newspapers: The Voice of the Community

Masudul Biswas

Chapter 8

It’s Everybody’s Problem: Why Journalism’s Macho Culture Persists and How to Help Make it End

Meg Heckman

Chapter 9

Heroes and Villains? How U.S. News Organizations are Shifting Their Representations of Protesters and Authorities

Jennifer Brannock Cox


The Uneven History of Diversity in Journalism

Gwyneth Mellinger


Section IV: War and Conflict Reporting in a Multidimensional World

Section IV Introduction

Hans C. Schmidt

Chapter 10

The Complicated History of War and Conflict Reporting in the United States

Hans C. Schmidt

Chapter 11

Media, War and the Propaganda of Pretext

Oliver Boyd-Barrett

Chapter 12

Challenges in Terrorism Coverage in the United States

Yiyi Yang


War Coverage: Perspectives from the Academy to the Field

Sean Aday


Section V: Challenges and Opportunities for Local News

Section V Introduction

Hans C. Schmidt

Chapter 13

Local News in Crisis

Bill Reader

Chapter 14

Public Access Television: An Untapped Resource for Local News

Antoine Haywood and Victor Pickard

Chapter 15

The Engaged Student Journalist: A Teaching Hospital Model for the 21st Century

Allison M. Frisch and Gina Gayle


Building Better Competitive News Environments

John-Erik Koslosky


Section VI: The Real Impact of Fake News

Section VI Introduction

Hans C. Schmidt

Chapter 16

Understanding Fake News Today

Larry J. King

Chapter 17

The Return of Fake News

J. D. Ponder

Chapter 18

The Evolution of Fake News on Facebook: Truth Disagreements and a Loss of Common Knowledge

Danielle R. Mehlman-Brightwell


Inoculation Theory and Fake News

Josh Compton


Section VII: Journalistic Trust and Accuracy in an Era of Hostility and Partisanship

Section VII Introduction

Hans C. Schmidt

Chapter 19

Hostility Toward the Press: Background and Steps Forward

Kelsey Mesmer and Kaitlin Miller

Chapter 20

Participatory Journalism: A New Approach for Increasing Public Trust and Engagement

Mirjana Pantic

Chapter 21

Of Sounder Mind: Considering the Well-Being of Professional Journalists

Avery E. Holton and Valérie Bélair-Gagnon


Predatory Publishing: What Every Science Journalist Needs to Know

Amy Koerber


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Hans C. Schmidt is an associate professor of communications at Penn State University, Brandywine, and holds a Ph.D. in mass media and communication. He teaches journalism and media classes, and is author of numerous peer-reviewed academic journal articles. His scholarship is primarily focused on journalism, journalism education, and media literacy.