1st Edition

Issues in Contemporary American Journalism

Edited By Hans C. Schmidt Copyright 2023
    250 Pages
    by Routledge

    250 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    List of Contributors



    Hans C. Schmidt

    Part I: The Role of Journalism in America

    1. A Brief History of Journalism in the United States

    Hans C. Schmidt

    2. The Free Press: A Confusing History and Uncertain Future

    Gina Baleria

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

    Lois A. Boynton

    Essay: The Importance of Journalism Today

    Dane S. Claussen

    Part II: Rethinking Journalistic Objectivity and Ethics

    4. Journalism Ethics: Dilemmas and Decisions

    Maggie Jones Patterson

    5. Journalistic Objectivity: A Gold Standard or Myth?

    E. S. McIntyre

    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

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

    Leandra H. Hernández

    Part III: Diversity and Representation in Journalism

    7. African American Newspapers: The Voice of the Community

    Masudul Biswas

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

    Meg Heckman

    9. Heroes and Villains? How US News Organizations are Shifting Their Representations of Protesters and Authorities

    Jennifer Brannock Cox

    Essay: The Uneven History of Diversity in Journalism

    Gwyneth Mellinger

    Part IV: War and Conflict Reporting in a Multidimensional World

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

    Hans C. Schmidt

    11. Media, War, and the Propaganda of Pretext

    Oliver Boyd-Barrett

    12. Challenges in Terrorism Coverage in the United States

    Yiyi Yang

    Essay: War Coverage: Perspectives from the Academy to the Field

    Sean Aday

    Part V: Challenges and Opportunities for Local News

    13. Local News in Crisis

    Bill Reader

    14. Public Access Television: An Untapped Resource for Local News

    Antoine Haywood and Victor Pickard

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

    Allison M. Frisch and Gina Gayle

    Essay: Building Better Competitive News Environments

    John-Erik Koslosky

    Part VI: The Real Impact of Fake News

    16. Understanding Fake News Today

    Larry J. King

    17. The Return of Fake News

    J. D. Ponder

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

    Danielle R. Mehlman-Brightwell

    Essay: Inoculation Theory and Fake News

    Josh Compton

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

    19. Hostility Toward the Press: Background and Steps Forward

    Kelsey Mesmer and Kaitlin Miller

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

    Mirjana Pantic

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

    Avery E. Holton and Valérie Bélair-Gagnon

    Essay: Predatory Publishing: What Every Science Journalist Needs to Know

    Amy Koerber



    Hans C. Schmidt is an associate professor of communications at Penn State University, Brandywine, and holds a PhD 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.