Media History

On The Media

The Man Time Forgot

Friday, October 20, 2006

The name Henry R. Luce is firmly enshrined in the annals of American publishing. But few remember the legendary Time editor’s erstwhile partner, Briton Hadden. And it was Hadden, not Luce, who conceived of the idea not only for Time, but of the “newsmagazine” itself. Brooke talks to Isaiah Wilner, ...

Comment

On The Media

The Man Who Knew Too Much

Friday, October 20, 2006

In 1965, Vietnamese reporter Pham Xuan An went to work for Time. He was a tireless writer, with an unerring sense for facts amidst the fog of war, and became an invaluable source of information for American readers. Turns out he was simultaneously an invaluable source of information for the ...

Comment

On The Media

Picturing the Worst

Friday, October 06, 2006

The assault this week in Pennsylvania’s Amish country was the sixth deadly school shooting in as many weeks. Media commentators are pointing to the possibility of a copycat effect, but few are examining the media’s own complicity therein. School violence researcher Loren Coleman tells Bob that a little more restraint ...

Comment

On The Media

A Rose Is Not a Rose

Friday, September 29, 2006

Iva Toguri died this week, though you probably don’t recognize the name. She was commonly, and erroneously, known as Tokyo Rose, a propagandist broadcasting against the Allied side during WWII. An article in 1976 by then Tokyo Bureau chief Ron Yates of the Chicago Tribune uncovered the story of how ...

Comments [1]

On The Media

Strong to the Finish

Friday, September 22, 2006

When E. coli made its way into a California spinach field, it brought down a vegetable that has enjoyed a remarkable run in the popular imagination. But how did the vegetable acquire its reputation as the leafy-green-that-could? Brooke speaks with food writer Michael Pollan about the spinach industry’s successes – ...

Comment

On The Media

Keeping Secrets

Friday, August 04, 2006

New York Times reporter William L. Laurence was with American troops in a plane over Nagasaki when the atomic bomb was dropped. He won the Pulitzer Prize for a series of stories he subsequently published, many of which included details about the development and production of the bomb that he ...

Comment

On The Media

Journalist, Inc.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Earlier this year, New York Post gossip columnist Jared Paul Stern was accused of trying to extort his sources in exchange for favorable coverage. He hasn’t been charged with a crime, but if it does turn out Stern is guilty he wouldn’t be the first person to cash in on ...

Comment

On The Media

Middle Child Syndrome

Friday, July 14, 2006

This week marks the 10th anniversary of MSNBC and MSNBC.com. A longtime ratings loser, the cable news network may be celebrating quietly. But the website, a leader in online news, has many happy returns to toast. Brian Stelter, who writes the blog TVNewser, joins Brooke for cake and a piñata.

Comment

On The Media

Civil Libertine

Friday, July 14, 2006

John Wilkes was an 18th century libertine, philanderer and author of what has been called the dirtiest poem in the English language. He was also a civil liberties pioneer, one of the first stalwarts of the free press. Brooke probes Arthur H. Cash, author of John Wilkes: The Scandalous Father ...

Comment

On The Media

Black, White, & Red All Over

Friday, June 09, 2006

On November 10, 1898, a mob of white supremacists ransacked the city of Wilmington, North Carolina, and toppled its biracial government. But last week, the 1898 Race Riot Wilmington Race Riot Commission concluded that it was not so much a riot as an insurrection, orchestrated by prominent local Democrats and ...

Comment

On The Media

Founding Propagandists

Friday, June 02, 2006

All lofty pretensions aside, American journalism was actually founded by a combination of crusading publishers, government leakers, and opinion writers who never used their real names. That’s according to the new book, Infamous Scribblers: The Founding Fathers and the Rowdy Beginnings of American Journalism. Author (and Fox News host) Eric ...

Comment

On The Media

Chaos, Revisited

Friday, June 02, 2006

A little while ago, Bob took out his crystal ball, and looked into the brave new media future. What he saw didn’t bode well for traditional keepers of the broadcast universe: viewers using DVRs to tune out commercials, and networks bypassing affiliates with online content streaming. A year later, Bob’s ...

Comment

On The Media

The Arizona Project

Friday, June 02, 2006

Journalists have long been among the casualties of foreign wars, and Iraq is no exception. But we’re less accustomed to reporters dying in the line of duty here at home. Which may be why the death of The Arizona Republic’s Don Bolles still resonates. He was covering organized crime when ...

Comment

On The Media

Doin’ the Hustle

Friday, May 26, 2006

Perhaps the surest way to gauge “community standards” is to run afoul of them. That’s what Hustler publisher Larry Flynt did in Cincinnati in the 1970s. And in New Hampshire in the 1980s. And again in Ohio in the 90s. The story is chronicled in a new book by one ...

Comment

On The Media

Cribbing Through the Ages

Friday, May 19, 2006

Plagiarism is constantly in the news these days, most recently with the scandal surrounding Harvard student Kaavya Viswanathan’s How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got A Life. But, as we know, claims of literary plagiarism go back centuries. So why do people still get so worked up about ...

Comment

On The Media

Highlights and Lowlights

Friday, January 06, 2006

The OTM 5th anniversary celebration continues as Senior Producer Katya Rogers presents some of the very best and very worst of On the Media through the years. You'll laugh, you'll cry.

Comment

On The Media

The Sound of WWII

Friday, December 30, 2005

Gulf War II was the first war that viewers had the ability to watch in real time, but it wasn't the first time reporters offered play-by-play narration from the battlefield. That distinction goes to World War II. The war reporting of Edward R. Murrow and his colleagues can again be ...

Comment

On The Media

The Messenger is the Message

Friday, October 07, 2005

On her recent trip to the Middle East, State Department Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes was angling for positive press coverage there. But her reviews on this side of the pond were mixed, at best. One critic suggested Hughes take a lesson from Vladimir Posner, the former Soviet spokesman ...

Comment

On The Media

Seeing Red

Friday, September 30, 2005

At the height of the red scare in 1954, Edward R. Murrow excoriated Senator Joseph McCarthy on CBS. The episode is now depicted powerfully in George Clooney's movie "Good Night, and Good Luck." Among the crusading journalists then working at the network were Joe and Shirley Wershba, who consulted on ...

Comment

On The Media

Keeping Secrets

Friday, August 05, 2005

New York Times reporter William L. Laurence witnessed the dropping of the atomic bomb, flying with American troops over Nagasaki while the bomb was dropped. He won the Pulitzer Prize for a series of stories he subsequently published, many of which included details about the development and production of the ...

Comment