journalism history

Do bylines matter?

October 26, 2007

The Daily Tele­graph on the import­ance of bylines: The sig­na­ture sys­tem has … dwindled into a purely tech­nic­al and pro­fes­sion­al mat­ter, a typo­graph­ic­al detail, a means of obtain­ing recruits for new journ­als, or for enabling writers to find employ­ment in dif­fer­ent papers. Out of a thou­sand signed art­icles only about twenty carry with them any import­ance. Read­ers look at […]


Andrew Gil­ligan takes one more chance to defend him­self at CiF: Although Hut­ton was, of course, a tac­tic­al tri­umph for [Alastair Camp­bell], with a knock­out vic­tory in the report and three good BBC scalps, it was an unpar­alleled stra­tegic dis­aster. If his aim in tak­ing us on was to dis­prove my story about the sexed-up dossier and […]


The Psychology of Newspapers

September 22, 2007

From a paper by Har­vard psy­cho­lo­gist Gor­don All­port and Janet Faden in the Decem­ber, 1940 edi­tion of Pub­lic Opin­ion Quarterly: It is well known that waves of interest in gov­ern­ment­al reform are notori­ously short-lived for the pop­u­la­tion at large; yet they do con­sti­tute a last­ing tide of con­cern for a hand­ful of pro­fes­sion­al reformers. So far as the […]


Mike Rosen­blum has been riff­ing over on his blog about Neil Post­man and the U.S. pres­id­en­tial debates. Back in the day, Post­man wrote 1980s media clas­sic Amus­ing Ourselves to Death, which blames tele­graphy for all our mod­ern woes. IMO, before the tele­graph, inform­a­tion over­load came in the the form of reli­gious works (try read­ing the […]