Newspapers and the Making of Modern America

A History

by Aurora Wallace


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.

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Cover image for Newspapers and the Making of Modern America

July 2005


Pages 224
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics American History/General
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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 (New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and USA TODAY).
Table of Contents

Newspapers and Their Cities, Towns, and VillagesTabloids and the City: The New York Daily News, The Daily Mirror and Evening GraphicSmall Town Reform Newspapers: The Des Moines Register, The Emporia Gazette and Anniston StarThe Black Press Goes to War: The Chicago Defender, Pittsburgh Courier, and The Baltimore Afro-AmericanPostwar Newspapers, Suburbanization, and Land Development: Los Angeles Times and Long Island NewsdayFlorida in Chains: The Miami Herald and Tampa TribuneThe Community Newspaper: The Village Voice, East Village Other, and Chicago Seed to CNHINational Newspapers and the Nation: The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY



"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

"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

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