New Books in Journalism podcast

Local Long-Form Journalism: An Interview with David Schmalz

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David Schmalz is a staff writer at the Monterey County Weekly, where his longform pieces have won numerous awards from the California News Publishers Association, including a first place for enterprise reporting in 2014 for an expose he wrote about a local church's attempt to evict residents from 98 federally subsidized apartments from a property it managed. Those residents were able to keep their homes, and the property remains the largest affordable housing complex on the Monterey Peninsula. His reporting also helped lead to the closure of the last remaining coastal sand mine in America, as well as overturning the approvals for one of the largest proposed developments in Monterey County history, which would have razed tens of thousands of coast live oaks to build single family homes and a horse-racing track. Other than the four years he's spent working or traveling abroad, Schmalz has lived and worked his entire life in California. Agata Popeda is a Polish-American journalist. Interested in everything, with a particular weakness for literature and foreign relations. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/journalism

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    Eric Berkowitz has written a short history of a censorship, a large topic that has been a phenomenon since the advent of recorded history. In Dangerous Ideas: A Brief History of Censorship in the West from the Ancients to Fake News (Beacon Press, 2021), Berkowitz reviews the motives and methods of governments, religious authorities, and private citizens to quell freedom of thought and expression. One theme Berkowitz reveals is how ineffective many censorship efforts have been. For example, after the printing press multiplied the sources available to readers and the opportunities for the Church and governments to suppress books and pamphlets, the attempts to censor speech served to heighten interest and encourage more dissent, creating profitable black markets for forbidden topics. Some publishers actually encouraged authors to write something likely to be forbidden. Yet, Berkowitz forthrightly acknowledges the dangers under which free thinker have lived and continue to live in our contemporary world. The dangers of daring to express oneself are present not only in authoritarian polities but in our own, and Berkowitz’s history seeks to reveal the common motives of censors and their targets. Ian J. Drake is Associate Professor of Jurisprudence, Montclair State University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/journalism
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    Clint Smith, "How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America" (Little, Brown and Company, 2021)

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    How do we narrate history, both the troubling past and what we chose to remember? Clint Smith sets out to wrestle with this question and its relationship to enslavement in his first nonfiction book, How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America (Little, Brown and Company, 2021). From Monticello plantation to Angola Prison to Galveston Island, Smith guides the reader on a journey as he visits domestic and abroad landmarks. In his exploration, he includes the reactions of the people he meets, like tourists, local public historians, and teachers, illuminating how these sites and all of us participate in remembering enslavement in contemporary America. N'Kosi Oates is a Ph.D. candidate in Africana Studies at Brown University. Find him on Twitter at NKosiOates. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/journalism
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    Elizaveta Friesem, "Media Is Us: Understanding Communication and Moving Beyond Blame" (Rowman and Littlefield, 2021)

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    Media is usually seen as a feature of the modern world enabled by the latest technologies. Scholars, educators, parents, and politicians often talk about media as something people should be wary of due to its potential negative impact on their lives. But do we really understand what media is? In Media Is Us: Understanding Communication and Moving Beyond Blame (Rowman and Littlefield, 2021), Elizaveta Friesem argues that instead of being worried about media or blaming it for what’s going wrong in society, we should become curious about uniquely human ways we communicate with each other. Media Is Us proposes five key principles of communication that are relevant both for the modern media and for people’s age-old ways of making sense of the world. In order to understand problems of the contemporary society revealed and amplified by the latest technologies, we will have to ask difficult questions about ourselves. Where do our truths and facts come from? How can we know who is to blame for flaws of the social system? What can we change about our own everyday actions to make the world a better place? To answer these questions we will need to rethink not only the term “media” but also the concept of power. The change of perspective proposed by the book is intended to help the reader become more self-aware and also empathic towards those who choose different truths. Concluding with practical steps to build media literacy through the ACE model—from Awareness to Collaboration through Empathy—this timely book is essential for students and scholars, as well as anyone who would use the new understanding of media to decrease the current levels of cultural polarization. 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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/journalism
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    Andrew Dodd and Matthew Ricketson, "Upheaval: The Great Digital Disruption in Journalism and Its Aftermath" (NewSouth, 2021)

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    Will Mari, "The American Newsroom: A History, 1920-1960" (U Missouri Press, 2021)

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    The story of the American newsroom is that of modern American journalism. In The American Newsroom: A History, 1920-1960 (University of Missouri Press, 2021), Will Mari documents a time of great change and controversy in the field, one in which journalism was produced in "news factories" by news workers with dozens of different roles, and not just once a day, but hourly, using the latest technology and setting the stage for the emergence later in the century of the information economy.  While newspapers have come to be seen as an integral part of American democracy, Mari's work shows that newsrooms themselves were far from democratic during this period. They were largely not available to women and people of color, and the leadership style of some editors and mangers bordered on authoritarian. Those standards shifted over the time The American Newsroom documents, thanks in part to the rise of newsroom unions, changing practices around human resources, and the continued transformation of journalism into a professional, white-collar occupation.  The American Newsroom sets the stage for many of the visions of newsrooms we see in pop culture from All The President's Men to Spotlight and demonstrates how the period from 1920-1960 expanded the notions of what journalism could and should be.  Will Mari is assistant professor of media history and media law at the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University. He received his MPhil from Wolfson College, Cambridge and his Ph.D. from the University of Washington. He studies media history, media law, and especially analog-to-digital transitions and their impact on news workers. Jenna Spinelle is a journalism instructor at Penn State's Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. She's also the communications specialist for the university's McCourtney Institute for Democracy, where she hosts and produces the Democracy Works podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/journalism
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    Denis McQuail, “Perspectives on Mass Communication” (Open Agenda, 2021)

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    Mark Baker, "Time of Changes" (Albatros Books, 2021)

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    Thomas Aiello, "The Life and Times of Louis Lomax: The Art of Deliberate Disunity" (Duke UP, 2021)

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    In The Life and Times of Louis Lomax: The Art of Deliberate Disunity (Duke University Press, 2021), Thomas Aiello traces the complicated and fascinating life of a pioneering Black journalist and media personality. A witness to some of the most iconic moments of the 1960s, Lomax remains an important yet overlooked civil rights figure, who emerged as one of the most influential voices of the movement despite his past as an ex-con, serial liar, and publicity-seeking provocateur. Thomas Aiello is a professor of history, and Africana studies at Valdosta State University. He is the author of more than twenty books and dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles. His work helped amend the Louisiana constitution to make nonunanimous juries illegal and was cited in the United States Supreme Court as part of its decision ruling them unconstitutional. His work was also part of the effort that led Major League Baseball to include Negro Leagues statistics in its historical record. He holds PhDs in history and anthrozoology and lives in Valdosta, Georgia. Learn more at www.thomasaiellobooks.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/journalism
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    Caitlin Petre, "All the News That’s Fit to Click: How Metrics Are Transforming the Work of Journalists" (Princeton UP, 2021)

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    Over the past 15 years, journalism has experienced a rapid proliferation of data about online reader behavior in the form of web metrics. These newsroom metrics influence which stories are written, how news is promoted, and which journalists get hired and fired. Some argue that metrics help journalists better serve their audiences. Others worry that metrics are the contemporary equivalent of a stopwatch-wielding factory manager. In All the News That's Fit to Click: How Metrics Are Transforming the Work of Journalists (Princeton UP 2021), Caitlin Petre offers a rare behind-the-scenes look at how metrics are reshaping the work of journalism.  The book is based on Petre's interviews and ethnographic observations at Chartbeat, Gawker, and the New York Times. Across the organizations, she finds that newsroom metrics are a powerful form of managerial surveillance and discipline. However, unlike the manager's stopwatch that preceded them, digital metrics are designed to gain the trust of wary journalists by providing a habit-forming user experience that mimics key features of addictive games. She details how metrics intersect with newsroom hierarchies and norms, as well as how their ambiguity leads to seemingly arbitrary interpretations of success. As performance analytics spread to virtually every professional field, Petre's findings speak to the future of expertise and labor relations in contexts far beyond journalism. Caitlin Petre is an assistant professor of journalism and media studies at Rutgers University. Jenna Spinelle is an instructor in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State and host of the Democracy Works podcast. Jenna Spinelle is a journalism instructor at Penn State's Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. She's also the communications specialist for the university's McCourtney Institute for Democracy, where she hosts and produces the Democracy Works podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/journalism

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