ERIC Number: ED163463
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Frederic Hudson's Nineteenth Century Critics and the Research Agenda for Press Historians of the 1980's.
Thorn, William J.
Although Frederic Hudson's "Journalism History in the United States from 1690 to 1872," the first major survey of American journalism, has been a major reference since its publication in 1873, an examination of book reviews that appeared in the New York press following the book's publication reveals surprisingly sharp criticisms of the book that raise questions about Hudson's accuracy. The reviewers found that Hudson had been inaccurate in omitting a number of significant journalists, in overemphasizing the New York "Herald" (for which he was managing editor) as the exemplar of contemporary journalism, and in repeating gossip. They further found that Hudson had a misconception of the press of his time, overemphasizing the newsgathering role and underemphasizing the analytical editorial role, criticisms that raise questions about the conventional conception of the post-Civil War press. The reviewers' fundamental criticism of the book was that it lacked any historical or philosophical conception of the press around which it might have been organized. Finally, the critics found Hudson's writing style slovenly and reflective of "Herald" newspaper copy. The critics' views suggest that despite its commercial success the "Herald" was not considered a positive model but a negative one by a number of other newspapers, suggesting new lines of research for journalism historians. (GW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Hudson (Frederic); Journalism History
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (61st, Seattle, Washington, August 13-16, 1978)