Journalism

We talk about it constantly and we arrange our lives around it. So did our parents; and so did the very first colonists. But it took Americans a long time to understand their weather—and we still have trouble getting it right.

Weather makes news headlines almost every day in some community in the United States. Read more >>

Westmoreland and Sharon embarked on costly lawsuits to justify their battlefield judgments. They might have done much better to listen to Mrs. William Tecumseh Sherman.

War is hell—and so is the coverage of war. Gen. William Westmoreland and former Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, claiming injury as a result of press reports, retaliated with batteries of lawyers armed with videotapes, classified documents, and loaded depositions. Read more >>

A veteran reporter looks back to a time when the stakes were really high—and vet military men actually trusted newsmen.

One week in August 1942 several stories on the British war effort appeared on the wires of the Associated Press, written by an AP reporter based in London named Drew Middleton. Read more >>

The Civil War ignited the basic conflict between a free press and the need for military security. By war’s end, the hard-won compromises between soldiers and newspapermen may not have provided all the answers, but they had raised all the modern questions.

Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman was a good hater, and he hated few things more than newspapermen. His encounter with the correspondent Floras B. Plympton of the Cincinnati Commercial in September 1861, five months into the Civil War, was typical. Read more >>

The twenties and thirties saw a host of new ways to separate customers from their money. The methods have not been forgotten.

No era provides such revealing insights into the cultural values of both producers and consumers of American advertising as the 1920s and 1930s, when admen not only claimed the status of professionals but also saw themselves as missionaries of modernity. Read more >>

One of the country’ more bizzarre labor disputes pitted a crowed of outraged newsboys against two powerful opponents—Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolf Hearst

Joseph Pulitzer, nearly blind, suffering from bouts of depression, and so sensitive to sound he exploded when the silverware was rattled, managed his newspapers in absentia for the last twenty years of his life. Read more >>

The GIs came home to find that a political machine had taken over their Tennessee county. What they did about it astounded the nation.

In McMinn County, Tennessee, in the early 1940s, the question was not if you farmed, but where you farmed. Athens, the county seat, lay between Knoxville and Chattanooga along U.S. Highway 11, which wound its way through eastern Tennessee. Read more >>

A little-known ancestor of the nightly news comes to light

The Colorado farmer opened the barn door for me. There, hanging from a nail on the back wall, was an empty 35-mm reel. With that excitement peculiar to collectors, I asked if there were any films left. “I reckon so. Read more >>

A distinguished journalist and former presidential adviser says that to find the meaning of any news story, we must dig for its roots in the past

I am fascinated by what I see in the rearview mirror of experience. The future, being a mystery, excites, but the past instructs. Read more >>
HISTORIANS GOT THEIR instructions early. Read more >>

Here is how political cartoonists have sized up the candidates over a tumultuous half-century.

AMERICANS HAVE BEEN turning out political cartoons since the dawn of the Republic, but in the nineteenth century the drawings tended to be verbose and cluttered, their characters trailing long ribbons of speech balloons as they stumbled ov Read more >>

In 1938 the European correspondent for CBS was in Austria when the Nazis marched in. He wanted to tell the world about it—but first he had to help invent a whole new kind of broadcasting.

I FIRST MET ED MURROW at the Hotel Adlon in Berlin on Friday, August 27, 1937, He had sent me a telegram three days earlier inviting me to dinner. I was not in the best of moods. Read more >>

He was more than just a cartoonist. He was the Hogarth of the American middle class.

IF YOU WANT a quick fix on what upper-middle-class Americans were doing between the two World Wars, look at the cartoons of Gluyas Williams. It will take less time than reading Dodsworth or the works of J. P. Read more >>

was the first magazine in America to change its cover for every issue. And these covers may still be the best graphic art magazine has ever produced.

Was the murdered President one of our best, a man of “vigor, rationality, and noble vision” or was he “an optical illusion,” “an expensively programmed waxwork”? A noted historian examines the mottled evolution of his reputation.

The murder of John F. Kennedy twenty years ago last month occasioned an overwhelming sense of grief that may be without parallel in our history. Read more >>

It exposed corruption. It hired drunks. Good writing was rewarded. No wonder every newspaperman wanted to work there.

For three days in the fall of 1930 a bearded, former Norwegian seaman could be seen pacing back and forth at the front entrance of the Pulitzer Building on Park Row, New York City, home of the World , with a sandwich sign that Read more >>

… you could battle for clean government, champion virtue, improve the public school, defend the consumer, arbitrate taste, and write lean, telling prose. Or at least that was the author’s dream. Here’s the reality.

It was three in the morning, two days after St. Patrick’s Day, 1958, when I disembarked from a Greyhound bus and stepped into the snowdrifts at the entrance to the Kennebunk Inn, in Kennebunk, Maine. Read more >>

What do you do if there’s no photographer around when Valentino meets Caruso in Heaven?

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but one day in 1926 a picture was worth one hundred thousand extra readers. In August of that year, New York City’s newspapers were in the middle of one of their usual summer circulation wars. Read more >>

If the facts were dull, the story didn’t get printed. So reporters made up the facts. It’s only recently that newspapers have even tried to tell the truth .

In the winter of 1894-95, Theodore Dreiser was a new reporter on the New York World , and things were going badly. One assignment after another fizzled. Read more >>

… is today’s newspaper. Here the executive editor of the Washington ‘Post’ takes us on a spirited dash through the minefields that await reporters and editors who gather and disseminate a most valuable commodity.

As executive editor of the Washington Post , Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee guides and shapes one of the two or three best newspapers in America. He has been called “a born leader, a quick study … and intuitive. Read more >>

Americans don’t hesitate to say anything they please about a public performance. But the right to do so wasn’t established until the Cherry Sisters sued a critic who didn’t like their appalling vaudeville act.

The year 1896 found Oscar Hammerstein in trouble. He was in debt, and the acts he had brought to Broadway weren’t doing well. He was desperate. “I’ve tried the best,” he is reported to have said. “Now I’ll try the worst.” So he sent for the Cherry Sisters. Read more >>

The Supreme Court says the First Amendment gives newspapers the right to denounce the government, advocate revolution, attack public figures, and even be wrong. This may not be nice—but those who understand the strengths of a republic wouldn’t have it any other way.

During the summer of 1919 a group of dissident members of the Socialist party, including the radical journalist John Reed, published a manifesto in the left-wing newspaper Revolutionary Age attacking the party’s more moderate e Read more >>

There’s a corner of every Americans heart that is reserved for a cartoon cat. Its name might be Garfield, Sylvester, Fritz, or Felix. But there will never be another Krazy.

In 1938, at the age of nine, I discovered one of life’s cruelest ironies: the best comic strips invariably appear in the worst newspapers. Read more >>

An Interview With Theodore H. White

AMERICAN CHARACTERS

Lincoln Steffens was a young reporter for the Commercial Advertiser during the late 1890’s, and he always remembered it as a grand time for a New York City newspaperman: “There was the Cuban war, the Boer war, and best of all—T Read more >>

WHEN JOSEPH KNOWLES STRIPPED TO THE BUFF AND SLIPPED INTO THE MAINE WOODS IN 1913, HE HOPED TO LEAD THE NATION BACK TO NATURE.

It was raining. A forty-four-year-old man named Joseph Knowles gingerly entered an old logging road in the Dead River country of Maine. Read more >>

An Exclusive Interview With General Maxwell D. Taylor

Chronicler of “The Men Who Do the Dying”

During a driving rain, the American infantry company worked its way toward a German strong point rmi the outskirts of Cherbourg. Rifle and machinegun fire echoed through the deserted streets, and shells passed overhead with rustling noises before exploding. Read more >>

LIFE and LOVES of the FATHER of the CONFESSION MAGAZINE

In 1950 a biographer of the elderly Bernarr Macfadden—who by then was known primarily as an octogenarian health fanatic who took a parachute jump each year on his birthday—remarked that his subject’s boyhood adventures bore “a stunning resemblance to the pulp Read more >>

When old James E. Taylor exercised his powers of near-total recall to set down memories of the Shenandoah campaign, he left us a unique record of a very new, very hazardous profession

“Mr. Taylor’s entire career has been fraught with vicissitudes and picturesque adventures” —James E. Taylor Read more >>