181 episodes

Interview with Scholars of Journalism about their New Books

New Books in Journalism New Books Network

    • Social Sciences

Interview with Scholars of Journalism about their New Books

    Thomas Doherty, "Little Lindy Is Kidnapped: How the Media Covered the Crime of the Century" (Columbia UP, 2020)

    Thomas Doherty, "Little Lindy Is Kidnapped: How the Media Covered the Crime of the Century" (Columbia UP, 2020)

    In Little Lindy Is Kidnapped: How the Media Covered the Crime of the Century (Columbia University Press, 2020), Thomas Doherty offers a lively and comprehensive cultural history of the media coverage of the abduction and its aftermath. Beginning with Lindbergh’s ascent to fame and proceeding through the trial and execution of the accused kidnapper, Doherty traces how newspapers, radio, and newsreels reported on what was dubbed the “crime of the century.” He casts the affair as a transformative moment for American journalism, analyzing how the case presented new challenges and opportunities for each branch of the media in the days before the rise of television. Coverage of the Lindbergh story, Doherty reveals, set the template for the way the media would treat breaking news ever after. An engrossing account of an endlessly fascinating case, Little Lindy Is Kidnapped sheds new light on an enduring quality of journalism ever since: the media’s eye on a crucial part of the story—itself.
    Thomas Doherty is professor of American studies at Brandeis University. His previous Columbia University Press books include Hollywood and Hitler, 1933–1939 (2013) and Show Trial: Hollywood, HUAC, and the Birth of the Blacklist (2018).
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    • 1 hr 18 min
    Kim T. Gallon, "Pleasure in the News: African American Readership and Sexuality in the Black Press" (U Illinois Press, 2020)

    Kim T. Gallon, "Pleasure in the News: African American Readership and Sexuality in the Black Press" (U Illinois Press, 2020)

    In Pleasure in the News: African American Readership and Sexuality in the Black Press (University of Illinois Press, 2020), Dr. Kim Gallon examines how Black newspaper editors and journalists created and fostered Black sexual publics during the 1920s and 1930s. She demonstrates that editors strategically elected to publish stories about marital scandals, divorces, homosexuality, and gender non-conformity, imagining that this coverage was a source of pleasure and debate for Black readers. Gallon argues that this editorial practice actually exposed class, gender, and sexuality divisions between different groups of African Americans. At the same time, this coverage revealed the tenuous position of lesbians, gay men, and female impersonators in a public sphere that sometimes silenced and marginalized their voices. Along with advancing racial solidarity, which Gallon takes as the Black presses’ starting point, the press revealed the diversity of Black people and created a discursive space in which sexual knowledge was produced, debated, and enjoyed. 
    To learn more about Professor Gallon’s digital scholarship and stay informed about how her work is meeting the demands of our moment, follow @BlackDigitalHum and @COVIDBlk on Twitter.
    Amanda Joyce Hall is a Ph.D. Candidate in History and African American Studies at Yale University. She is writing an international history on the global movement against South African apartheid during the 1970s and 1980s. She tweets from @amandajoycehall.
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    • 1 hr 11 min
    Sharon Marcus, "The Drama of Celebrity" (Princeton UP, 2020)

    Sharon Marcus, "The Drama of Celebrity" (Princeton UP, 2020)

    Sharon Marcus’s new book, The Drama of Celebrity (Princeton UP, 2020), sets out to help us understand celebrity culture and how it has shifted and evolved since its contemporary inception in the early 1800s. Marcus highlights the celebrity concept throughout western history, indicating some of the same dynamics at work in classical Greece that we see in our current popular culture landscape. This culture has three components that are generally all present in some form: the celebrities themselves, who may achieve that role through some form of performance or other attention-generating experience or event, a media of some kind (radio, newspaper, magazines, social media) that focuses attention on individual celebrities, and the fans or citizens who engage with the celebrities. Marcus delineates this “three-legged stool” of celebrity culture and notes that while aspects of it have changed over the years—especially the form of media—the structure and foundation continues to operate as an interactive ecosystem. Marcus opens up her tracing of this culture with Sarah Bernhardt, who embodied a kind of prototype of what we see and consider modern celebrity culture. With Bernhardt as an iconic example as well as a Virgil-like guide, Marcus explores contemporary celebrity, and also the critique of celebrity, asking the question of how we should understand these phenomena in the age of Trump, both in the United States and elsewhere.
    The Drama of Celebrity also dives into the racial and gender dynamics that have long been at work in the value placed on those who achieve fame and celebrity status. Without shifting the thesis to focus only on the role of gender and celebrity, Marcus teases out the dichotomous approach to male celebrity and female celebrity, and the different standards that are applied to both the individual celebrity themselves and their fans. As we move through different media and different performative formats that promote or garner an individual fame and celebrity, Marcus also compels the reader to consider the opposing ideas of American individualism and the production of mass culture, and how these antithetical dimensions are united within celebrity culture. This is a fascinating examination of the idea and the mechanics of celebrity and will be of interest to a broad array of readers.
    Lilly J. Goren is professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012), as well as co-editor of Mad Men and Politics: Nostalgia and the Remaking of Modern America (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015).
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    • 51 min
    Gemma Milne, "Smoke and Mirrors: How Hype Obscures the Future and How to See Past It" (Robinson, 2021)

    Gemma Milne, "Smoke and Mirrors: How Hype Obscures the Future and How to See Past It" (Robinson, 2021)

    Bombastic headlines about science and technology are nothing new. To cut through the constant stream of information and misinformation on social media, or grab the attention of investors, or convince governments to take notice, strident headlines or bold claims seem necessary to give complex, nuanced information some wow factor. But hype has a dark side, too. It can mislead. It can distract. It can blinker us from seeing what is actually going on.
    From AI, quantum computing and brain implants, to cancer drugs, future foods and fusion energy, science and technology journalist Gemma Milne reveals hype to be responsible for fundamentally misdirecting or even derailing crucial progress. Hype can be combated and discounted, though, if you're able to see exactly where, how and why it is being deployed. Smoke and Mirrors: How Hype Obscures the Future and How to See Past It (Robinson, 2021) is your guide to doing just that.
    Marci Mazzarotto is an Assistant Professor of Digital Communication at Georgian Court University in New Jersey. Her research interests center on the interdisciplinary intersection of academic theory and artistic practice with a focus on film and television studies.
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    • 1 hr 19 min
    Scholarly Communications: A Discussion with Elisa De Ranieri, Editor-in-Chief of "Nature Communications"

    Scholarly Communications: A Discussion with Elisa De Ranieri, Editor-in-Chief of "Nature Communications"

    Listen to this interview of Elisa De Ranieri, Editor-in-Chief of Nature Communications. We talk about knowing the research you have done, but communicating the message you want said.
    Interviewer: "When a submission lands on your desk, or better said, you call it up on your screen, what are you pleased to see, what makes your work easier?"
    Elisa De Ranieri: "Yeah, well, I guess what makes the job easier for an editor is to receive a paper that is well-written and well-constructed and where the authors are so experienced that they know how to pitch their story. It's nice because it, obviously, spares the editor the trouble of having to unpick what's being said. You know, there are papers where––I'm not saying that they're badly written––but they are so dense because it's not a story, it's a dump of facts, so that you have to start unpicking the facts until you've made your own version of the story that the authors are trying to tell, and only then can you assess that story based on your criteria."
    Daniel Shea, heads Scholarly Communications, a Special Series on the New Books Network. Daniel is Director of the Writing Program at Heidelberg University, Germany. Just write Daniel.Shea@zsl.uni-heidelberg.de
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    • 1 hr 12 min
    Harvey Araton, "Our Last Season: A Writer, a Fan, a Friendship" (Penguin, 2020)

    Harvey Araton, "Our Last Season: A Writer, a Fan, a Friendship" (Penguin, 2020)

    Harvey Araton’s new book Our Last Season: A Writer, a Fan, a Friendship (Penguin, 2020), reads like a mix between Tuesdays with Morrie and a sequel to his book When the Garden was Eden (which chronicled the New York Knicks’ early-70s title teams). It’s a book about friendship, aging and of course, basketball.
    Harvey Araton is one of New York's--and the nation's--best-known sports journalists, having covered thousands of Knicks games over the course of a long and distinguished career. But the person at the heart of Our Last Season, Michelle Musler, is largely anonymous--except, that is, to the players, coaches, and writers who have passed through Madison Square Garden, where she held season tickets behind the Knicks bench for 45 years. In that time, as she juggled a successful career as a corporate executive and single parenthood of five children, she missed only a handful of home games. The Garden was her second home--and the place where an extraordinary friendship between fan and sportswriter was forged.
    That relationship soon grew into something much bigger than basketball, with Michelle serving as a cherished mentor and friend to Harvey as he weathered life's inevitable storms: illness, aging, and professional challenges and transitions. During the 2017-18 NBA season, as Michelle faces serious illness that prevents her from attending more than a few Knicks games, Harvey finally has the chance to give back to Michelle everything she has given him: reminders of all she's accomplished, the blessings she's enjoyed, and the devoted friend she has been to him.
    Paul Knepper was born and raised in New York and currently resides in Austin. His first book, The Knicks of the Nineties: Ewing, Oakley, Starks and the Brawlers Who Almost Won It All, is available on Amazon and other sites. You can reach Paul at paulknepper@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @paulieknep.
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    • 50 min

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