Tag: newspapers

A GI View of the News


When World War II started newspapers and magazines were at a zenith in American culture. US military leaders, including George C. Marshall, decided the Army needed its own newspapers and magazines to inform troops. Surprisingly, they gave the GIs running the publications a remarkable freedom to report as they saw fit.

“The War of Words: How America’s GI Journalists Battled Censorship and Propaganda to Help Win World War II,” by Molly Guptill Manning, tells the story of the GI press in World War II. It shows they were a weapon leading to US victory as much as the tanks and artillery wielded by the GIs.

Manning makes Marshall the champion of the GI newspaper.  She also shows why. Marshall understood morale’s importance. He believed keeping GIs uninformed, with no place to gripe, contributed to low morale.  The book shows how and why Roosevelt supported Marshall. She shows how the Nazis harnessed propaganda to further their efforts. Marshall and Roosevelt believed a patriotic free press within the US military would counter that.

Exploring the Arctic for Fame and Headlines


Before reality television, people satisfied the urge to see new places and do new things by reading about the exploits of risk-takers, including explorers. Before the internet or radio, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the way to do that was through the newspaper.

Back then, the modern mass-market daily newspaper was still new.

In “Battle of Ink and Ice: A Sensational Story of New Barons, North Pole Explorers, and the Making of Modern Media,” Darrell Hartman threads together two themes: the rivalry between New York City’s major newspapers and polar exploration.

How Halley’s Comet Reappearance Stirred the World


For millennia, comets were believed to be harbingers of disaster and change. No one knew what they were. Their terror faded after Edmond Halley proved they were natural phenomena, following laws of physics. He predicted that a comet visible in 1682 would reappear in 1759. It was named Halley’s Comet when his prediction was realized.

“Comet Madness: How the 1910 Return of Halley’s Comet (Almost) Destroyed Civilization,” by Richard J. Goodrich, tells what happened during its 1910 return. It actually proved to be a study of the impact of the mainstream media, an intersection of science and superstition.

Scientists were excited by its return. Goodrich shows that no one completely understood what comets were as the 20th century opened. For astronomers, Halley’s Comet’s predictable return offered an unprecedented opportunity to explore comets’ mysteries.

Scot Bertram of Hillsdale College and the “Political Beats” podcast is in for Jim. Scot and Greg break down a new poll showing Americans solidly opposed to biological males competing in women’s sports. They also chronicle the decision of Gannett and other newspaper publishers to scale back on opinion pages. And they hammer most of the media for ignoring violence against crisis pregnancy centers while CNN covers it disingenuously.