Bob McChesney is the Gutgsell Endowed Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois. In 2008, the Utne Reader listed McChesney among their “50 visionaries who are changing the world”. He has written and edited 17 books, and his work has been translated into 21 languages. John Nichols is The Nation’s Washington correspondent, and the associated editor of the Capital Times in Wisconsin. John has covered seven presidential races and reported from two dozen countries. He is the author or coauthor of eight books on media and politics.
McChesney and Nichols are co-authors of a new book “The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that Will Begin the World Again“, described in review by Mike Francis of The Oregonian as “a book that diagnoses the collapse of traditional, commercial journalism and, as a solution, prescribes a dramatic recasting of the incentives and rewards that make the industry work” and looks “backward at the historical business and regulatory choices made by publishers, broadcasters and their enablers in Congress”
Francis comments in his review that:
The authors are at their best when they point to critical turns during the formation of an independent press — turns, they suggest, that could have gone in the direction of far more state support. The American people, wrote Thomas Jefferson in 1787, should be given “full information … thro’ the channel of public papers, and … these papers should penetrate the whole mass of the people.”
Also instructive are the sections devoted to the U.S. military’s support for a climate of press freedom in the defeated nations of Japan and Germany, both of which, not coincidentally, are full of flourishing newspapers today.
Here Paul Jay of The Real News interviews McChesney and Nichols together about their book and about the journalism industry in the United States and kicks off the discussion with:
…let’s start with some assumptions, ’cause we don’t have too long, and I don’t think they’re tough assumptions, which is: American journalism, in terms of its financial model, is broken; in terms of its substantive content model is pretty broken too, especially when you look at the capitulation of most of the media around the Iraq War and since. So talk just a bit about the problem, and then talk a little bit about the solutions.
Real News Network – February 25, 2010
The Death and Life of American Journalism Pt.1
McChesney and Nichols: The market cannot generate sufficient journalism on its own