Media critic and former CNN editor Mindich takes a common belief—"that young people have largely abandoned traditional news"—and thoroughly examines many related, more obscure trends to convincingly argue that most young Americans who are "tuned out" not only threaten their own generation but also "democracy itself." Using a range of research approaches, from first-person interviews to large statistical studies of audience preferences, Mindich explodes a number of myths about why young people have shunned serious news.
Mindich shows that younger nonreaders are "the least likely to consume TV news," and he is most concerned with the loss of new consumers of print media; while he gives a number of examples of how papers have "dumbed down" the news to attract young audiences, he's acutely aware of how papers struggle between maintaining high standards and sustaining profits. Mindich also presents a devastating analysis of how national television news panders to young viewers with "news-as-entertainment" options.
"This is a very important book. Professor Mindich has undertaken to determine the extent of the news illiteracy of an entire generation of American young people, and, to speculate with authorities in broadcasting and print as to what can be done about it. This volume is a handbook for the desperately needed attempt to inspire in the young generation a curiosity that generates the news habit. Their lack of knowledge or even interest in our government bodes a critical danger to democracy as they become the nation's voting majority."
--Walter Cronkite, on "Tuned Out: Why Americans Under 40 Don't Follow the News"
Just The Facts
If American journalism were a religion, as it has been called, then its supreme deity would be "objectivity." The high priests of the profession worship the concept, while the iconoclasts of advocacy journalism, new journalism, and cyberjournalism consider objectivity a golden calf. Meanwhile, a groundswell of tabloids and talk shows and the increasing infringement of market concerns make a renewed discussion of the validity, possibility, and aim of objectivity a crucial pursuit.
Despite its position as the orbital sun of journalistic ethics, objectivity―until now―has had no historian. David T. Z. Mindich reaches back to the nineteenth century to recover the lost history and meaning of this central tenet of American journalism.
The Mediated World:
A New Approach to Mass Communication and Culture
Rowman & Littlefield, 2019
Today’s students have a world of knowledge at their fingertips, and no longer need textbooks filled with names and dates crammed into a single volume. This book takes as its starting point that readers want a compelling story, a good read, an intelligent analysis, and a new way of looking at the media revolutions around us. It is designed as a life line to help students understand and interpret the sea of media washing over us all.
The Mediated World is written for students who want to understand how we communicate to one another, how we process our world, and how the media shapes us. Written in an engaging and narrative style that focuses on concepts and real-world contexts rather than a dry recitation of facts, this book helps students understand their own personal relationship with media and gives them the tools to push back against the media forces. One of the main goals of this book is empower readers and that is done by understanding the media and by learning how to counter their force and by using their force for our own ends. Readers of this book will recognize that they have the potential to be both active consumers and even producers on a scale never seen before.
James Gordon Bennett and America’s First Experiment with Popular Journalism
An exploration of the birth of popular journalism in New York City in the 1830s, a period of innovation with parallels to our own time.