Cover: On Press: The Liberal Values That Shaped the News, from Harvard University PressCover: On Press in HARDCOVER

On Press

The Liberal Values That Shaped the News

My prayers for a new way to think about the so-called crisis over ‘trust’ in the press have been answered thanks to media scholar Matthew Pressman’s erudite new history… Pressman’s framing helps explain President Donald Trump’s broadsides against what he calls the ‘fake news’ and why measurements of trust in the news profession decline almost every time Gallup fires up a new poll.—Jack Shafer, Politico

Pressman shows…there was a purpose behind the old ideas of ‘objectivity’ and ‘fairness.’ At their best, journalists examine questions of genuine importance and offer citizens a chance to hear competing arguments on various sides of the issues at stake. This task includes pointing out when claims are at odds with the facts.—E. J. Dionne, Jr., The Washington Post

Pressman details…the competing pressures [that] forced journalists to fundamentally recalibrate their work, reconsidering in turn core values like objectivity… [As] Pressman argues, it was a once-in-a-century sea change that both ushered in journalism as it’s understood today and foreshadowed the press corps’ current predicament.—David Uberti, The Nation

Something dramatic changed in American journalism between 1960 and 1980, claims Matthew Pressman. Instead of just a bald catalogue of what politicians and officials were doing and saying, news coverage…began to reflect a distinctive set of values… On Press explores this decisive liberal turn and its enduring impact down to today.Times Higher Education

I very much recommend [On Press]… It’s about the rise of explanatory reporting, the changeover from journalism as really a kind of stenography, where they’re just reprinting speeches and press releases…to more interpretive reporting… Really terrific.—Ezra Klein, The Ezra Klein Show

[A] really smart, trenchant look at the way that the news media has changed… Remarkable.—Natalia Petrzela, Past Present podcast

Impressively well-researched… Presents a logical and compelling look at journalism past and present.—Catherine Ramsdell, PopMatters

Well-researched, lucid, and engaging, On Press helps us understand attitudes toward the mass media (and, especially, financially strapped and embattled newspapers) in the Age of Trump.—Glenn C. Altschuler, Psychology Today

The stories behind the stories are often more interesting than the stories themselves. On Press is the ultimate story behind all the stories. In tracing the evolution of news over the past half century, Matthew Pressman has produced an account that’s deeply historical and not a little troubling. In an age when the press is alternately villain or hero, Pressman serves as a kind of medicine man of journalism, telling us how we got from there to here and warning us what must change.—Graydon Carter, former editor of Vanity Fair

Matthew Pressman helps us understand how we came to our current, troubled media moment with his deeply researched, engagingly written history of America’s press in the 1960s and ’70s. This is an important and original contribution—and a needed one.—Margaret Sullivan, media columnist for the Washington Post

An original, deeply researched, and engaging examination of the fundamental changes in American journalism from the 1960s up to the rise of the digital. An indispensable work.—Michael Schudson, author of Why Journalism Still Matters

An excellent account of where journalism has been, is now, and possibly will go in the twenty-first century. Pressman deftly demonstrates how print journalists decided that reporting the facts was no longer sufficient in an electronic age where interpretation and analysis of events were desperately needed.—Joe Saltzman, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California

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