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A Force for Good: How the American News Media Have Propelled by Rodger Streitmatter

By Rodger Streitmatter

America’s information media are relentlessly criticized as too destructive, sensationalistic, profit-oriented, and biased, let alone unpatriotic and a depressing failure at reflecting the nation’s range. Rodger Streitmatter makes transparent that even though a lot of the feedback is deserved, it obscures the truth that information shops have additionally made—and proceed to make—many optimistic contributions to the country’s well-being.

A strength for reliable: How the yank information Media Have Propelled confident Change bargains a compelling account of the Fourth Estate’s efforts to enhance U.S. society. no matter if documenting the appalling stipulations in psychological associations, exposing monetary shenanigans and sex-abuse scandals, or championing an vague capsule as a sort of birth control, Streitmatter argues, print and broadcast reporters have propelled major social themes onto the general public schedule and helped construct help for switch. this article attracts on either old and modern examples from quite a lot of social contexts; the result's a desirable journey of yank background, social swap, and the advantages of a powerful media.

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Extra resources for A Force for Good: How the American News Media Have Propelled Positive Change

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Riis lived another two decades after seeing those “dens of death” come tumbling down, but that event in 1897 remained his most enduring legacy. indb 20 2/23/15 9:02 AM WAGING WAR ON URBAN SLUMS 21 page obituary read “Jacob A. indb 22 2/23/15 9:02 AM 3 Protecting America’s Children In 1900, some 2 million children worked in American factories, coal mines, and textile mills. Employers liked hiring youngsters because they could be paid less than adults and were also easier to discipline. The frightening conditions the children had to endure weren’t widely known outside the mill towns in the South and the factories in the North where they worked.

In one piece about a family living in a cramped apartment, he wrote, “The father’s hands were crippled from lead poisoning. ” Other members of the family were also suffering: “A contagious disease of the eyes, too long neglected, had made the mother and one of the boys nearly blind. 9 After only a few years of reporting such stories, Riis began to see himself not merely as a detached observer but as someone who had the ability to bring about social change. 10 A decade into working for the Tribune, however, he’d grown disappointed that his writing wasn’t having the impact he’d hoped it would.

Indb 27 2/23/15 9:02 AM 28 CHAPTER 3 or pitcher. The boys had to run at breakneck speed—to make sure the glass didn’t harden before it could be shaped—while balancing the molten glass on long forks. “The work itself is not flagrant,” the Tribune pointed out. ”14 The situation described in another story was even worse. ” The little boys’ job was to break large chunks of coal into small pieces while also separating the coal from impurities, such as slate and rock. One hazard of the task was that the youngsters weren’t allowed to wear gloves because their fingers were more nimble if bare than if covered; this inevitably led to the boys cutting their fingers so often that their hands were covered in blood.

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