Advanced Topics in Liberty

Democracy, Objectivity, and Liberty of the Press

Conference for professionals -Sept 6-8, 2013

Discussion Leader: Benjamin Berger

Session I - Discussion: The Origins of the American Press.

Nord, David Paul. Communities and Journalism: A History of American Newspapers and Their Readers. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2001. Chapter 2, “The Authority of Truth: Religion and the John Peter Zenger Case” (pages 65–79).

Franklin, Benjamin. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1886, 1888. Selections from Chapter 1, “Parentage and Boyhood” (pages 26–30) and selections from Chapter 6, “Self-Education” (pages 118–120).

Johnson, Samuel. “Of the Duty of a Journalist.” The Universal Chronicle (April 8, 1758): 1–2.

Murphy, Esq., Arthur. The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL. D: with an Essay on his Life and Genius, Volume 7. London: Thomas Davison, 1824. “Scheme for news-writers” (pages 25–29) and “Corruption of news-writers” (pages 117–120).

Session II - Discussion: The Emergence of a Democratic Press.

Tocqueville, Alexis de. Democracy in America (English Edition), Volume 1. Edited by Eduardo Nolla. Translated by James T. Schleifer. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2012. Part II, Chapter 3, “Of Freedom of the Press in the United States” (pages 289–301).

Schudson, Michael. Discovering the News: A Social History of American Newspapers. New York: Basic Books, 1978. Chapter 1, “The Revolution in American Journalism in the Age of Egalitarianism: The Penny Press” (pages 12–60) and notes (pages 196–201).

Session III - Discussion: Journalism and Imperial Democracy.

Whitman, Walt. Democratic Vistas, and Other Papers. London: Walter Scott, 1888. Selections (pages 16–27).

Mindich, David T. Z. Just the Facts: How “Objectivity” came to Define American Journalism. New York: New York University Press, 1998. Chapter 2, “Nonpartisanship: Three Shades of Political Journalism” (pages 40–63) and notes (pages 154–159).

Session IV - Discussion: The Ideal of Objectivity.

Lippmann, Walter and Charles Merz. “A Test of the News.” The New Republic Supplement (August 1920): 1–42.

Lippmann, Walter. Public Opinion. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1922. Chapter 20, “A New Image” (pages 310–314), Chapter 24, “News, Truth, and a Conclusion” (pages 358–365), and Chapter 27, “The Appeal to the Public” (pages 398–410).

Session V - Discussion: The Ideal of Objectivity.

Schudson, Michael. Discovering the News: A Social History of American Newspapers. New York: Basic Books, 1978. Chapter 4, “Objectivity Becomes Ideology: Journalism After World War I” (pages 121–159) and notes (pages 209–215).

Session VI - Discussion: Return of a Partisan Press?

Schudson, Michael. Discovering the News: A Social History of American Newspapers. New York: Basic Books, 1978. Chapter 5, “Objectivity, News Management, and the Critical Culture” (pages 160–194) and notes (pages 215–220).

Thurow, Glen E. and Jeffrey D. Wallin, editors. Rhetoric and American Statesmanship. Durham, North Carolina: Carolina Academic Press, 1984. Chapter 3, Harvey C. Mansfield, Jr.’s “The Media World and Democratic Representation” (pages 57–70).

Lichter, S. Robert, Stanley Rothman, and Linda S. Lichter. The Media Elite. Betheseda, Maryland: Adler and Adler, 1986. Chapter 9, “And That’s the Way It Is...” (pages 293–301) and notes (page 335).

McChesney, Robert Waterman. The Problem of the Media: U.S. Communication Politics in the Twenty-First Century. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2004. Selections from Chapter 3, “Understanding U.S. Journalism II: Right-Wing Criticism and Political Coverage” (pages 98–111) and notes (pages 313–314).