The American Newsroom: A Social History, 1920 to 1960
Mari, William T.
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One of the most important centering places in American journalism remains the newsroom, the heart of the occupation’s vocational community since the middle of the nineteenth century. It is where journalists have engaged with their work practices, been changed by them, and helped to shape them. This dissertation is a thematic social history of the American newsroom. Using memoirs, trade journals, textbooks and archival material, it explores how newsrooms in the United States evolved during a formative moment for American journalism and its workers, from the conclusion of the First World War through the 1950s, the Cold War, and the ascendancy of broadcast journalism, but prior to the computerization of the newsroom. It examines the interior work culture of news workers “within” their newsroom space at large, metropolitan daily newspapers. It investigates how space and ideas of labor transformed the ideology of the newsroom. It argues that news workers were neither passive nor predestinated in how they formed their workplace. Finally, it also examines how technology and unionization affected the newsroom and news workers, and thus charts the evolution of the newsroom in the early-to-middle decades of the twentieth century. In so doing, it fills an important gap in the journalism-studies literature prior to the newsroom ethnographies of the 1970s and 1980s.
- Communications