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Publishers Weekly, 2005-01-31 Ritchie, associate historian of the U.S. Senate since 1976, follows his 1991 study of the first 130 years of the American press (Press Gallery), with this second volume covering the last 70 years. Despite its modest subtitle, the work covers almost every issue relevant to the growth and change of American media in the modern era, from FDR's revolutionary use of radio to an analysis of media coverage of 9/11. Drawing on oral histories, broadcast archives, presidential papers, memoirs and interviews, Ritchie describes the rise of the wire services, racial integration of the press corps, the role of foreign correspondents, the rise of opinion columnists, the use of "leaks," the growth of television, the challenges of cable news networks and, finally, the impact of the Internet on news reporting. There's a lot of minutiae here-the struggles between rival wire services, the intricacies of staffing decisions at the New York Times, the complexities of early TV regulation-but it's all leavened with behind-the-scenes stories of some of the media's larger-than-life personalities (Katharine Graham, Walter Lippmann, Matt Drudge, etc.). And while Ritchie has arranged his material chronologically, the chapters are thematic, so readers interested in a particular issue-women's roles, for example-can consult the relevant chapter (and his well-documented endnotes) without digging through the entire text. Photos. (Mar.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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