1st Edition

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

Edited By Teri Finneman, Erika Pribanic-Smith Copyright 2023
    234 Pages 39 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    234 Pages 39 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    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


    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