What are Journalists For? Jay Rosen
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- Publication date:
- 20 Mar 2001
- 354 pages: 229 x 152 x 20mm
- black & white illustrations
American journalists in the 1990s confronted disturbing trends-an erosion of trust in the news media, weakening demand for serious news, flagging interest in politics and civic affairs, and a discouraging public climate that seemed to be getting worse. In response, some news professionals sought to breach the growing gap between press and public with an experimental approach-public journalism. This book is an account of the movement for public journalism, or civic journalism, told by Jay Rosen, one of its leading developers and defenders. Rosen recalls the events that led to the movement's founding and gives a range of examples of how public journalism is practiced in American newsrooms. He traces the intellectual roots of the movement and shows how journalism can be made vital again by rethinking exactly what journalists are for. Those who have supported the cause of public journalism have focused on first principles: democracy as something we do, citizens as the ones who do it, politics as public problem-solving, and deliberation as a means to that end. Rosen tells what happened as the movement gained momentum in newsrooms around the country and in the professional culture of the press. He reviews the flood of criticism and commentary aimed at public journalism and responds to those who express alarm at the experiment. Examining the mark that the movement has made on the field, Rosen upholds public journalism not only as a way for journalists to find a renewed sense of civic purpose for their craft, but also as a way to improve civic life and strengthen democracy.
Jay Rosen is associate professor in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, New York University, and former director of the Kettering Foundation's Project on Public Life and the Press.
"At last we have a full-scale, beautifully written account of the origin, growth, and meaning of 'public journalism' by the man who knows more about it than anyone else." Neil Postman, author of Amusing Ourselves to Death "In this book, which chronicles several battles over the future of the press, Jay Rosen shows why his ideas are sure to play an important part in the press's rediscovery of its role." James Fallows, author of Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy "Jay Rosen is the intellectual force behind the civic journalism movement, and this remarkable book is the best statement yet of civic journalism's philosophy, promise, and problems. A must read." Thomas E. Patterson, Harvard University "A valuable addition to a meager list of books that take journalism seriously." Tom Goldstein, New York Times Book Review "Providing us a refreshingly jargon-free manifesto of public journalism, [Rosen] proceeds in a spirit of fairness to record both the successes and the criticisms of its myriad detractors." Tracy Lee Simmons, Washington Post Book World"
Jeffrey B. Ferguson
L. Perry Curtis