Social Justice, Activism and Diversity in U.S. Media History  book cover
1st Edition

Social Justice, Activism and Diversity in U.S. Media History

  • Available for pre-order on April 21, 2023. Item will ship after May 12, 2023
ISBN 9781032266558
May 12, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
224 Pages 39 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book offers a diverse approach to journalism history told from a multimedia perspective, re-examining mainstream stories and highlighting contributions that are often overlooked.

Bringing together a team of prominent journalism historians, the volume centers race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, class, religion, disability, mental health and generations to tell forgotten stories of journalism’s historical influence. The book is designed to appeal to Generation Z college students, offering budding mass communicators a valuable tool that addresses gaps in historical pedagogy and fosters representation in the classroom. Each chapter contains access to video and podcast extras, chapter summaries, guides to further reading and suggested activities to bring these narratives alive and keep readers engaged.

Interactive and accessible, Social Justice, Activism and Diversity in U.S. Media History is an indispensable resource for Generation Z, scholars in mass communication and American history, journalists and general readers.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Teri Finneman and Erika Pribanic-Smith

Part 1: Generations

2. Life Magazine’s "College Girl" as a Symbol of America in the 1930s

Lindsay Hargrave and Carolyn Kitch

3. The War Against Vietnam Era Underground Newspapers

John McMillian

4. The First U.S. College Newspaper Sex Column, 1996-97

Daniel Reimold

5. Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story Comic as a Civil Rights Narrative

J. Michael Lyons

Part 2: Race/Ethnicity

6. How the Civil Rights Era Brought Diversity to Television News

Kelli S. Boling

7. The Mediated Jorge Washington: Father of Our Countries

Melita M. Garza

8. U.S. Government Suppression of Japanese-Language Press in World War II

Takeya Mizuno

9. Red Power in Print and Action

Melissa Greene-Blye

10. A Groundbreaking Advertising Appeal to Black Americans in the 1950s

Kimberley Mangun and Lisa M. Parcell

Part 3: Gender/Sexuality

11. A Voice for Social Change in the Chicago Defender, 1939-1945

Caryl Cooper

12. Beyond Sex: Independent Women and the Triumph of Cosmopolitan

Paula Hunt

13. PR in the Gay Rights Movement, 1950-1969

Edward Alwood

14. The Press and the 1913 Women’s March on Washington

Teri Finneman

Part 4: Disability/Mental Health

15. "Making War in a Wheelchair": News Coverage of the Disability Rights Movement

Joy Jenkins

16. Seventy Years of Sports Writing on Athletes’ Mental Health

Nicholas Hirshon

Part 5: Religion

17. Writing Religion "Right": A History of Exclusion in the AP Stylebook

Fred Vultee

18. The 19th Century Irish-American Press: Faith, Race, and Revolution

Brian Shott

19. Rosa Sonneschein and The American Jewess

Barbara Straus Reed

Part 6: Class

20. Emma Goldman’s Protest of the World War I Draft

Erika Pribanic-Smith

21. A Newspaper for Workers’ Rights in a Time of Turmoil

Jon Bekken

22. Oral History and the Experiences of Mexican American Grassroots Publishers

Vinicio Sinta

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Teri Finneman is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Kansas. Her research focuses on historical news coverage of U.S. women in politics. She also is an oral historian focusing on local news in Great Plains states. She is the author of Press Portrayals of Women Politicians, 1870s-2000s.

Erika Pribanic-Smith is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Arlington. Her research focuses on political communication in 19th and early 20th century newspapers and magazines. She also researches the dissident press. She is the co-author of Emma Goldman’s No-Conscription League and the First Amendment.


Social Justice, Activism, and Diversity in U.S. Media History will make an important, lively contribution to any course in communications history, social justice, or advocacy, providing new case studies and unique perspectives that will engage readers. The book will appeal to journalists and anyone interested in the relationship between news and social equity.

Janice Hume, University of Georgia, journalism history expert

Social Justice, Activism and Diversity in U.S. Media History provides crucial historical context for communicators writing stories that touch on issues related to today’s cultural chasms. This collection offers an array of resources indispensable for a broader understanding of cultural issue origins and will help journalists communicate more effectively.

María Len-Ríos, University of Minnesota, diversity and media expert

The fact that so much effort, hardship and discrimination in American media history is obscured, repressed, or forgotten is tragic and embarrassing. I’d be surprised if any Gen Z-er who reads this book doesn’t find a new historical figure to respect or identify with. I certainly did.

Sam Kricsfeld, Kansas City Jewish Chronicle editor, Generation Z