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Newspapers and the Making of Modern America

By investigating specific cases of newspapers in their communities, Newspapers and the Making of Modern America shows the newspaper as an agent of change in the construction and maintenance of community. It develops the theme of a newspaper as a prime mover in enacting policy, supporting development, building neighborhoods, and generally modifying the physical and built environment. Using the newspaper as a window into the study of the twentieth century, the book shows how newspapers have:
  • Promoted the building of America's first postwar suburb, constructed towns where none had existed before,
  • Promoted development and new industry,
  • Built community awareness, cohesion and preservation,
  • Moved populations from one place to another,
  • Participated in campaigns both for and against slum clearance,
  • And carved out communities within communities. Examples include newspapers in relation to their state (Des Moines Register), their county (Long Island Newsday), their region (Miami Herald, Los Angeles Times), their city (New York Daily News, New York Mirror and New York Daily Graphic) their community (Baltimore Afro-American, Pittsburgh Courier, Chicago Defender), their town (Emporia Gazette, Anniston Star) their village (Village Voice, East Village Other) and their nation (The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington post and USA TODAY).
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Promotional Information

Examines the significant trends in American newspaper journalism, including the proliferation of wire services, the development of the African-American press, investigate reporting, and the digital revolution.

Table of Contents

Newspapers and Their Cities, Towns, and Villages Tabloids and the City: The New York Daily News, The Daily Mirror and Evening Graphic Small Town Reform Newspapers: The Des Moines Register, The Emporia Gazette and Anniston Star The Black Press Goes to War: The Chicago Defender, Pittsburgh Courier, and The Baltimore Afro-American Postwar Newspapers, Suburbanization, and Land Development: Los Angeles Times and Long Island Newsday Florida in Chains: The Miami Herald and Tampa Tribune The Community Newspaper: The Village Voice, East Village Other, and Chicago Seed to CNHI National Newspapers and the Nation: The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY

About the Author

Aurora Wallace is Assistant Professor in the Department of Culture and Communications at New York University. She received a Ph.D. in Communications from McGilll University in Montreal and was a visiting Fulbright Scholar at Columbia University. Her research looks at media, architecture and urban space, 19th and 20th century newspaper and journalism history, and crime in the media.


"The span of the 20th century saw newspapers take on enormous importance in the dissemination of information and opinions throughout US society, and then gradually subside from its role as the primary source of news and information to just one among many. Wallace examines the significant trends in American newspaper journalism, including the proliferation of wire services, the development of the African-American press, investigative reporting, and digital developments." - Reference & Research Book News "Wallace looks at how 20th-century newspapers shaped community cultural and economic development. Each of the seven chapters is a mini-essay analyzing how specific newspapers reflected and changed the way a particular community or demographic group envisioned itself....[t]he book's sweep suggests an array of topics that will intrigue those interested in news organizations and the communities they cover....[t]his accessible book includes solid notes and some photographs. Recommended. Lower-/upper-division undergraduates; graduate students; general readers." - Choice

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