Manual Dark Days in the Newsroom: McCarthyism Aimed at the Press

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He shows how McCarthy's minions pried inside newsrooms previously thought to be sacrosanct under the First Amendment, and details how some journalists mounted a heroic defense of freedom of the press while others secretly enlisted in the government's anti-Communist crusade. Relying on previously undisclosed documents from FBI files along with personal interviews, Alwood provides a richly informed commentary on one of the most significant moments in the history of American journalism.

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Arguing that the experiences of the McCarthy years profoundly influenced the practice of journalism, he shows how many of the issues faced by journalists in the s prefigure today's conflicts over the right of journalists to protect their sources. Droits d'auteur. Informations bibliographiques. Dark days in the newsroom : McCarthyism aimed at the press Edward Alwood Temple University Press , 28 juin - pages 0 Avis Dark Days in the Newsroomtraces how journalists became radicalized during the Depression era, only to become targets of Senator Joseph McCarthy and like-minded anti-Communist crusaders during the s.

Dark days in the newsroom: McCarthyism aimed at the press.

Harvey Matusow was a major Hoover informant. In all, he smeared individuals. In , Matusow confided to Methodist Bishop G. This subcommittee is nudging the end of my copy pencil, it is peeking over my shoulder as I work. This subcommittee is engendering the fear that soon it will be looking into newsrooms all over the country.

If, as a result of my being called here, I am put under mental pressure to change one word or sentence in material that I edit, an abridgment of freedom of the press will have taken place …. It can be opened at any time from within; it cannot be forced open with the wedges of a subpoena, with threats of contempt citation, or in any other form. He, too, stood firm, refusing to name party colleagues.

He made an additional, powerful and correct legal argument: The hearings, he observed, lacked a legislative purpose.


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Shelton, Whitman and two other journalists were cited by the committee for contempt, and the Senate approved the citations—unanimously—and sent them to a grand jury for indictment. Twice convicted, they sued to challenge the citations. At a second trial, Senator Eastland took the stand. Shelton never gave up, repeatedly appealing his convictions.

Dark Days in the Newsroom: McCarthyism Aimed at the Press

In September he won a two-to-one decision in a court of appeals. In the end, the Supreme Court reversed the convictions with a five-to-two decision. Shelton was reassigned to copyedit entertainment features and reviews. Whitman was reassigned to the obit desk. Just before the election, Alwood discloses that:.

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Inspiringly, it tells of stand-up guys, including I. What Lyons has to say in the book requires some background. McCarthy tried to keep a transcript of the hearing secret, but reporters covering the story joined Wechsler in a successful effort to make them public.


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    It tolls for you. Douglas wrote:.