Entrepreneurism in american journalism

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

JOMC 89.001 – Fall 2013

Tuesday-Thursday, 12:30-1:45 pm

Halls of Fame Room, Carroll Hall

Instructor: Ferrel Guillory
Office: Carroll Hall 354

Email: guillory@unc.edu / Phone: 962-5936

Office Hours: Monday-Thursday, 10-11 am

The Course:
In several dimensions, this course is a hybrid, fueled in part by the everyday practice of journalism and in part by the trends, issues, shifts in technology and business decisions that have played a role in shaping the news media in the United States. It is about exploring how major figures in U.S. journalism used advances in technology and the capitalist system in their times to create ways and means of delivering information and analysis to the citizens of a democratic society.
As a hybrid, the course is divided into four segments and will attempt to accomplish four goals:

  1. To examine enterprising journalists and journalistic institutions – and their roles in assembling both mass and niche audiences – and how in doing so they exert influence on the political and cultural dynamics of the United States.

  1. To place a special focus on analyzing the formation of journalistic enterprises, and you will have an opportunity to produce your own entrepreneurial ideas for a journalistic enterprise that fits current technology and that serves to inform the public agenda.

  1. To learn about interpretive and contextual journalism, a form that Walter Lippmann, a prominent journalist-philosopher, termed “explained news.’’  Explained news goes by many names: commentaries, columns, reviews, profiles, situationers, take-outs, and analyses. These are the forms in which journalists attempt not only to report events and ideas but also to put them into context, to go beneath the surface and to explore meaning and significance. You will not write conventional news stories.  In fulfilling your assignments, you will write in the form and tone of interpretive journalism.

  1. To foster a deeper appreciation for ethics, citizen-leader relationships and the complexities of people wielding power, through a free press and in a free, democratic society.

Throughout the course, you will read, think, talk and write about historical figures who transformed American journalism and exerted an influence on U.S. democracy. In this course we will focus mostly on the 20th and 21st centuries and how news has been delivered through various formats and technologies. We will look at newspapers and magazines, at radio and television, and at websites and other electronic media. The intent is to allow you to think creatively about the future of news reporting and analysis.

This course seeks to give you a deeper appreciation for the entrepreneurism and creativity embedded in American journalism, and to prepare you to perform with confidence in developing your own creative and entrepreneurial skills.
The Assignments:
Assignments will come in four segments:

  1. We will have several guest lecturers with whom you will be expected to engage in lively conversation. These guest lecturers will help you understand the entrepreneurial spirit that shapes the way news is delivered, particularly in a local community and statewide. You will be expected to prepare questions and comments for these guest lecturers. Your preparation and participation will be considered when calculating your class-participation grade.

  1. You will have required readings that bear on the theories, mores and practices of the American press. We will consider how journalism - the print, broadcast and electronic media that deliver news - interacts with the communities they serve. You will deliver both an oral and written reports on your readings.

  1. You will also read, discuss and write on a book, chosen from the list below, to learn more about the history of the creation of new publications and media businesses. You will deliver an oral report to the class and submit a written report to your professor.

  2. The capstone assignment of this course will require you to envision a new media product. You will develop an idea that could be implemented in the medium-term future, and write a short paper describing your idea. You are expected to become a critical thinker and to envision how change agents advance journalistic enterprises. This paper will be due on the last day of class and the class will convene at the assigned time for final exams to discuss your findings and ideas. Your understanding of the history and impact of journalism along with the creativity and thoughtfulness of your design will all be considered for your final grade.

Beginning early in the semester and continuing intermittently throughout, I will deliver a historical overview of American journalism since 1900. These lectures are designed to assist you in putting contemporary journalism in context.

Please note:

You may have assignments that require travel to Raleigh and other locales in the general Triangle area for events and interviews. I will seek to develop assignments so as not to interfere with your academic schedule.

This course seeks to help you develop the skills of forming judgments, behaving ethically, speaking cogently, writing analytically, and thinking entrepreneurially. You are expected to complete all oral reports and writing assignments and to take part in class discussions.
* Let’s be clear: You will not get a passing grade if you fail to complete all writing assignments, or if you commit a serious ethical violation.*
You will receive a letter grade on each paper, as well as editing and comments. I assign grades on the basis of the depth and quality of critical thinking.
Because it entails assessing accuracy, quality of writing, background research, quotations from sources -- the accumulation of information and insight -- grading is necessarily subjective. Grades and critiques are designed not to lead you to failure but to help you succeed. Here is a general guideline of how your grades will be calculated:
Class attendance and participation……………………………….…15 percent

Writing Assignment #1 and Class Discussion………………………25 percent

Written book report and Class Discussion………………………….25 percent

Final Writing Assignment & Presentation of Entrepreneurial Idea….35 percent

The Class:


  • Each day’s class will include a discussion of current events in the news. You are expected to come prepared to offer observations and your insights about what’s going on and about how events are being covered.

  • For written assignments, it’s acceptable to turn in your essay either on paper or emailed to me. Whichever form you choose, please double- or triple-space your copy. I prefer to edit on paper.

  • Occasionally, you may engage in a roundtable discussion of each other’s work. After I critique your written essays, you will present a summary to the class and lead a class discussion on your analysis. When it is your turn to be critiqued, you will bring copies of your essay to class for all of your classmates to read.


The University’s policy on Prohibiting Harassment and Discrimination is outlined in the 2011-2012 Undergraduate Bulletin http://www.unc.edu/ugradbulletin/. In summary, UNC is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our community and does not discriminate in offering access to its educational programs and activities on the basis of age, gender, race, color, national origin, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression or disabilities.
Seeking Help:

If you need individual assistance, it is your responsibility to meet with the instructor during office hours or to set up an appointment for another time. If you are serious about wanting to improve your performance in the course, the time to seek help is as soon as you are aware of the problem – whether the problem is difficulty with course material, a disability, or an illness.

Special Accommodations:

If you require special accommodations to attend or participate in this course, please let the instructor know as soon as possible. If you need information about disabilities visit the Department of Disability Services website at http://disabilityservices.unc.edu/ or call (919) 962-8300.


Honor Code:

It is expected that each student will conduct himself or herself within the guidelines of the University honor system (http://honor.unc.edu). All academic work should be done with the high levels of honesty and integrity that this University demands. You are expected to produce your own work in this class, which includes outside writing assignments. Use of former students’ writing assignments constitutes a breach of the honor code and will be dealt with accordingly. If you have any questions about your responsibility or your instructor’s responsibility as a faculty member under the Honor Code, please see the course instructor or Senior Associate Dean Chris Roush, or you may speak with a representative of the Student Attorney Office or the Office of the Dean of Students.

Readings List:

  • A daily newspaper/online publication on current events

  • ESSAY: Technology & Ideology: The Case of the Telegraph

(Found in Communication as Culture – James W. Carey)

  • The State of the News Media 2013 produced by the Pew Research Centers’ Project on Excellence in Journalism.

  • Information Needs of Communities produced by the FCC

Book List:
Walter Lippman and the American Century Ronald Steel

William F. Buckley Jr.: Patron Saint of the Conservatives – John B. Judis

The General: David Sarnoff and the Rise of the Communications Industry – Kenneth Bilby

Pulitzer: A Life – Denis Brian

Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print and Power – James McGrath Morris

Hearst: Lord of San Simeon – Oliver Carlson

The Times We Had: Life with William Randolph HearstMarion Davies

The Tragedy of Hearst – Robert L. Duffus

William Randolph Hearst: Modern Media Tycoon – Nancy Frazier

The Hearsts: Father and Son – William Randolph Hearst, Jr.

Imperial Hearst: A Social Biography – Ferdinand Lundberg

The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst – David Nasaw

Hearst Over Hollywood: Power, Passion, and Propaganda in the Movies – Louis Pizzitola

The Hearsts: An American Dynasty – Judith Robinson

Citizen Hearst – W.A. Swanberg

The Press – A. J. Liebling

The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century – Alan Brinkley

Henry R. Luce and the Rise of the American News Media – James L. Baughman

Luce and his Empire – W. A. Swanberg

The Colonel: The Life and Legend of Robert R. McCormick, 1880-1955 – Richard Norton Smith

Henry Grady’s New South: Atlanta, a Brave Beautiful City – Harold E. Davis

Henry W. Grady: Spokesman of the New South – Raymond Nixon

The Powers That Be – David Halberstam

Privileged Son: Otis Chandler and the Rise and Fall of the L.A. Times Dynasty – Dennis McDougal

The Power of News: The History of Reuters 1849-1989 – Donald Read

Discovering the News: A Social History of American Newspapers – Michael Schudson

The Ethnic Press in the United States: A Historical Analysis and Handbook – Sally M. Miller

The Ethnic Press: Shaping the American Dream – Leara D. Rhodes

Meet the Press: 50-Years of History in the Making – Rick Ball & NBC News

The Kingdom and the Power – Gay Talese

The Trust: The Private and Powerful Family Behind the New York Times – Susan E. Tifft & Alex S. Jones

The New Republic Reader – Dorothy Wickenden

The Making of the American Conservative Mind: National Review and its Times – Jeffrey Hart

The Readers Digest and How it Grew – John Bainbridge

Theirs Was the Kindgom: Lila and DeWitt Wallace and the Story of the Reader’s Digest – John Heidenry

Prime Time: The Life of Edward Murrow – Alexander Kendrick

The News Business – John Chancellor & Walter R. Mears

Objectivity and the News: The Public and the Rise of Commercial Journalism – Dan Schiller

Pulitzer – W.A. Swanberg

The Story of Broadcasting – Edward Bliss

The Murrow Boys: Pioneers on the Front Lines of Broadcast Journalism – Stanley Cloud & Lynne Olson

Minute by Minute – Don Hewitt

Tell me a Story: Fifty Years and 60 Minutes in Television – Don Hewitt

60 Minutes: 25 years of Televisions Finest Hour – Frank Coffey

Edward R. Murrow – Joseph E. Persico

Out of Thin Air: The Brief, Wonderful Life of Network News – Frank Reuven

The Negro Press in the United States – Frederick Detweiler

Jonathan Daniels and Race Relations: The Evolution of a Southern Liberal – Charles W. Eagles

Forum for Protest: The Black Press During WWII – Lee Finkle

The Black American and the Press – Jack Lyle (editor)

Blacks and White TV: African Americans in Television Since 1948 - J. Fred MacDonald

One Nation Under Television: The Rise and Decline of Network TV – J. Fred MacDonald

Raising Her Voice: African American Women Journalists who Changed History - Rodger Streitmatter

The Black Press in the South, 1865-1979 – Henry Louis Suggs

P. B. Young, Newspaperman: Race Politics and Journalism in the South, 1910-1962 – Henry Louis Suggs

Percy Green and the Jackson Advocate: The Life and Times of a Radical Conservative Black - Julius E. Thompson

American Diary, A Personal History of the Black Press - Enoch P. Waters

Black Journalists in Paradox: Historical Perspectives and Current Dilemmas – Clint C. Wilson

The Black Press U.S.A. – Rowland E. Wolseley

W. E. B. DuBois: American Prophet – Edward J. Blum

Univision, Un hogar lejos del hogar – Ruben Soto

Telemundo, a Basic Reader – John G. Copeland

Economics of Hispanic Television in the U.S. – Deana Myers, Bridget McCullough, Kagan Research LLC

Hispanic Media, USA: A Narrative Guide to the Print and Electronic Hispanic News Media in the United States – Ana Veciana-Suárez, Media Institute

Hispanic Media: Impact and Influence – Ana Veciana- Suárez

Shot in America: Television, the State, and the Rise of Chicano Cinema – Chon A. Noriega

Bad Girls Go Everywhere: The Life of Helen Gurley Brown – Jennifer Scanlon

The Improbable First Century of Cosmopolitan Magazine – James Landers

Taking Liberties: Early American Women’s Magazines and Their Readers – Amy B. Aronson

Yours in Sisterhood: Ms. Magazine and the Promise of Popular Feminism – Amy Erdman Farrell

In Vogue: The Illustrated History of the World’s Most Famous Fashion Magazine – Alberto Oliva, Norberto Angeletti & Anna Wintour

* Any student who wishes to read and write about a different subject is welcome to identify a book you would like to read and request approval to read your chosen book instead of selecting one from this list. Substitution requests must be made and approved prior to starting the assignment. Once approved, the alternate text can be used for the book report and class discussion assignment.

* From the book list above (along with a potential selection from elsewhere), you will submit to the instructor three choices, and you and the instructor will agree on which book you should read.

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