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U.S. Television News and Cold War Propaganda, 1947–1960

U.S. Television News and Cold War Propaganda, 1947–1960

$67.99 (P)

Part of Cambridge Studies in the History of Mass Communication

  • Date Published: October 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521543248


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About the Authors
  • Television news and the Cold War grew simultaneously in the years following World War II, and their history is deeply intertwined. In order to guarantee sufficient resolve in the American public for a long term arms buildup, defense and security officials turned to the television networks. In need of access to official film and newsmakers to build themselves into serious news organizations, and anxious to prove their loyalty in the age of blacklisting, the network news divisions acted as unofficial state propagandists. This book analyzes the shocking extent of their collaboration.

    • Never before told story, based on primary research, of collaboration between the US government and television networks to sell the Cold War
    • Of interest to twentieth-century American history and cultural studies
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "The author chooses well-chosen sources to document 'East-West relations steeped in consumer oriented anti-communism,' which helped to form a 'Cold War consensus.'...She shares acute insights on the power of metaphor--as when many characterized television as an X-ray and a mirror--and provides a persuasive concluding chapter, 'Selling America.' A readable book recommended for all collections." Choice

    "Overall, U.S. Television News and Cold War Propaganda is clear and concise, making it accessible to a wide range of audiences." Tom Liacas, Canadian Journal of Communication

    "This excellent book...expertly covers the interacctions of the U.S. government with developing television network news organizations in the coverage of the early years of the Clod War...this book is a captivating account of how television participated with government in constructing and selling the first decade of the Cold War to the American public. In giving readers her insights, Bernhard successfully clarifies the interrelationship of government and industry policies in the early years of the Cold War that added shape and definition to our present-day post-Cold War society. All media scholars, especially communication historians, should read this book." Journalism History

    "a very powerful story, based on extensive use of government archives, manuscript collections, oral histories, and other sources." American Historical Review

    "Bernhard's informative book illuminates the role played by news programming demonstrates clearly how television particapted in a series of mediations between self regulation and censorship, public services and entertainment sponsorsupport and govenment-subsidized production." Business History Review

    "Thoroughly researched and forthright in its conclusions...a provocative book." Nieman Reports

    "Her [Bernhard's] analysis of media cowardice in dealing with one of the earliest challenges to deviance in Cold War reporting is superb." - Robert P. Newman

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2003
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521543248
    • length: 268 pages
    • dimensions: 225 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.415kg
    • contains: 9 b/w illus. 3 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: selling the Cold War consensus
    1. Business, the state, and information from World War II to Cold War
    2. Democracy and the advent of television news
    3. The State Department's domestic information programs
    4. The television industry at war in Korea
    5. The White House and NBC present battle report - Washington
    6. The Defense Department's domestic information programs
    7. Objectivity and consensus journalism
    Selling America: corporate prerogatives and democratic processes.

  • Author

    Nancy Bernhard, Massachusetts School of Law

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