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Journalism

Summer 2007

Fighting for a free press

Brian Schraum ditched school for several days in January. The 19-year-old Washington State University junior wasn’t playing hooky, though. He was testifying in Olympia on behalf of a free-press bill he inspired.

Schraum, a communication major, is trying to protect high school and college newspapers from censorship. House Bill 1307, which Schraum helped Rep. Dave Upthegrove (D-Des Moines) craft, would put the full weight of editorial decisions in the hands of the student editors. Even in high schools.

Last year, as editor of the Green River Community College newspaper, Schraum realized that while he had the freedom to print what he chose, that freedom wasn’t … » More …

Winter 2005

Kill the Editor

A job warranting more assassination attempts than the president of the United States exists in cities around the world.

The job? Editing a newspaper.

John R. Irby, a WSU clinical associate professor of communication, wrote a new book, Kill the Editor: The Often Bizarre Relationship with Readers, that chronicles 25 years of newspaper experience from the editor’s chair.

Irby collected personal stories and letters from readers for the bulk of the book’s material. The book highlights the emotions of all humans from a perspective the public never experiences: That of a professional journalist.

Leticia Gomez, editor for American Book Publishing, Irby’s publisher, said the book … » More …

Fall 2004

Global Media: Menace or Messiah?

Revealing the answer to the question posed by the title of this book by David Demers, associate professor of communication at Washington State University, will not deprive anyone of a reason to read it. Global media, the planet-embracing corporations like Time Warner and Disney that bring us information and entertainment, are neither menace nor messiah. Few prospective readers would suspect the latter. The book’s value lies in its refutation of the former, a charge popularized by Noam Chomsky and other Jeremiahs of the left.

The charge—that the corporatization and consolidation of media organizations lead inevitably to their uncritical acceptance of powerful institutions and failure to … » More …

Fall 2002

Staying Tuned: A Life in Journalism

In the beginning, radio was his second choice. After a journalistic teething in the service of the ANETA news agency in the Netherlands, Daniel Schorr wanted to be a foreign correspondent for The New York Times. When he fell victim to the Jewish-owned paper’s self-imposed quota on Jewish reporters, Schorr went to work for Edward R. Murrow at CBS in 1953.

The signal that he had made the grade came on New Year’s Day 1956, as “Murrow’s Boys” made the transfer to television. Schorr had left his post in Russia to join Howard K. Smith, Richard C. Hottelet, Eric Sevareid, and Murrow’s other far-flung correspondents … » More …

Spring 2002

It's in the blood

“There I was [in May 1980], focused on completing my last month at WSU, and Mount St. Helens erupts,” recalls Kathi Goertzen ’80. “I spent the next few weeks basically living at the KWSU studio, not only reporting the news aspects, but also interviewing local farmers about the ash that had covered Eastern Washington and what affect that would have on their crops. I guess you could say that was my first ‘breaking news’ story, and after that, I had it in my blood.”

Her degree in broadcast communications in hand, Goertzen joined KOMO-TV in Seattle as the assistant to Art McDonald (’55, Speech Communication). … » More …